Franklin did a huge disservice to Clifford, the team, and the fans.

AWS1022

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AWS....I'l give you one thing : your #1 in defending the horseshit that happened today. Wish I could. Carry on
I’m not defending it, I’m just spreading the blame where it belongs, not just finding a way to lump it all on one person. I’m pissed that we lost, I wish like hell we would have pulled it out. But it is what it is and all the teeth gnashing and blame gaming in the world isn’t going to change the result.
 

AWS1022

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I mean was shocked when I heard cliff was starting , I’m sure a lot of people were.
I was happy when I heard it. And I was happy early on, but then not so much. My anger is more geared toward Levis for leaving because we’d be 7-0 right now and we’d have an answer for next year as a bridge to getting Allar ready to play.
 

Texas Lion

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I would love to know the story of Clifford. Didn’t seem in a lot of pain at Iowa yet was sat out. All of a sudden he plays today and looks like a shell of himself.
 

Shadow99

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I don't agree. Roberson was bad at Iowa, but still able to put together a FG drive after coming in cold. and they had two weeks to get ready for a bad team. they could have used a healthy Roberson instead of a hurt Clifford
If TR was a better option, yes...but if he threw just an interception or 2, that would be more than Clifford did...

...we all wish that it would have been a no-brainer on who to play, either a healthy Clifford, or a confident, capable backup...but apparently an injured Clifford was deemed to give the team a better chance to win...maybe for the same reason that Cain still gets so many snaps despite the fact that he clearly isn't 100% and doesn't necessarily gain the most yards...Cain has taken care of the ball and is a capable, knowledgeable blocker. 🤷‍♂️
 

NittPicker

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I could understand sticking with the experienced Clifford if you need a drive, including the first two overtimes. At the beginning of the third OT I was saying put in Roberson. At that point you no longer need a drive. All you need is one play. The way Clifford was gimping around he was a liability since Illinois didn't have to worry about him running. Roberson would have given more options for the single play which was going to be run.
 
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ram2020

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for those not paying attention, when you have an injured QB and a running game that can't pick up 3rd and 1 against Villanova(!), you are nothing. You are a total fraud. Blame Franklin for his constant butt humping about "explosives" blame clifford, blame the defense, blame anything, but if you literally cannot line up against an Illinois team that has a coach calling them out about how they need to be overrecruited, you are less than NOTHING! 6 wins, 7 winds, 9 wins, none of it matters if you have a team that can't push a pile 2 yards.
 

kickerinaz

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So any reason to ask why all the injuries ? I'm OK chalking it up to randomness cause that's what it is at first glance but wow there's alot of players either out for the season, have been or are getting dinged up. Hmmm
 
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psu2016

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You think that, but you don’t know that. If the injury to your starting QB makes you change your entire game plan, it may have a bigger effect than you think regardless of who you’re playing.
Yes, the injury to Cliff was unfortunate. We are hardly the only team that deals with injuries. Very few of them manage to lose at home as 24 point favorites.
 

Lyons212

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Reality is, PSU cannot run the ball with their running backs this year. The backup QB's are absolutely terrible and the staff has zero confidence in them. They played Clifford hoping to eak out a win with the defense and a big play or 2 in the passing game. Of course, the running game is basically Clifford running and that was not an option today either.

Stout missed a 40 yard FG, Brisker dropped an INT in OT, either would have won the game.
 
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KnightWhoSaysNit

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My anger is more geared toward Levis for leaving because we’d be 7-0 right now and we’d have an answer for next year as a bridge to getting Allar ready to play.

Really? What would you have done differently? Levis is getting a better college career by transferring. So are you angry at Levis or are you angry that Franklin did not use him enough (passing) to keep him at PSU? I thought our system prior to this year wasn't good for the QBs we had on the roster. Levis is now in a better system. Ironically, PSU has a better system this year to fit Clifford as well.

From what I've seen, Levis is easily of starting QB caliber. He is getting better -- much more accurate with regular playing time. After two full years he could get a look from an NFL team. He can run, throw deep or short with touch, has a nice release, tight spiral. Even has NFL prototypical size. His stats would be better if he had reliable receivers.

Levis did what was right for himself -- what a college student should do to reach his potential and prepare for a profession. We've had many starting QBs at PSU that would rank behind the 2021 version of Levis.

We might be 7-0 with Levis at PSU but that is speculation. He seems a lot better after playing regularly. He would have come in cold in the Iowa game.
 

Sooner Lion

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I would say the run defense was a bigger problem. The D line got shoved around all day long.
We need 3-4 335 lb guys up front that are impossible to move. F this athletic DL that gets absolutely blown off the ball.
 

Shadow99

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Reality is, PSU cannot run the ball with their running backs this year. The backup QB's are absolutely terrible and the staff has zero confidence in them. They played Clifford hoping to eak out a win with the defense and a big play or 2 in the passing game. Of course, the running game is basically Clifford running and that was not an option today either.

Stout missed a 40 yard FG, Brisker dropped an INT in OT, either would have won the game.
...and apparently Mustipher was even more impactful to the run defense than we thought...
 
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AWS1022

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Really? What would you have done differently? Levis is getting a better college career by transferring. So are you angry at Levis or are you angry that Franklin did not use him enough (passing) to keep him at PSU? I thought our system prior to this year wasn't good for the QBs we had on the roster. Levis is now in a better system. Ironically, PSU has a better system this year to fit Clifford as well.

From what I've seen, Levis is easily of starting QB caliber. He is getting better -- much more accurate with regular playing time. After two full years he could get a look from an NFL team. He can run, throw deep or short with touch, has a nice release, tight spiral. Even has NFL prototypical size. His stats would be better if he had reliable receivers.

Levis did what was right for himself -- what a college student should do to reach his potential and prepare for a profession. We've had many starting QBs at PSU that would rank behind the 2021 version of Levis.

We might be 7-0 with Levis at PSU but that is speculation. He seems a lot better after playing regularly. He would have come in cold in the Iowa game.
Angry that he left, but I know it was his decision. And I live in KY, watch all their games, and talk to many of their fans…he’s not doing all the things you claim. They win because of their running game and their defense. He has very little touch and he rarely throws the deep ball. If Clifford put up the numbers Levis has put up, he would get roasted on this board. Funny how posters on here are so much more realistic about other team’s players than our own.
 

fairfaxlion2

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Angry that he left, but I know it was his decision. And I live in KY, watch all their games, and talk to many of their fans…he’s not doing all the things you claim. They win because of their running game and their defense. He has very little touch and he rarely throws the deep ball.
this was a very obvious problem when he came in vs. OSU in 2019. the only role for him relative to Clifford was backup. If he wasn't willing to play backup, then the staff had no way of keeping him.
 

AWS1022

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this was a very obvious problem when he came in vs. OSU in 2019. the only role for him relative to Clifford was backup. If he wasn't willing to play backup, then the staff had no way of keeping him.
I don’t blame the staff and I don’t blame Levis, but I’m more angry at him than Franklin because he’s the one that left. But that has no effect on him one way or the other, so it doesn’t really matter what I think.
 

RU31trap

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I would say the run defense was a bigger problem. The D line got shoved around all day long.
I’m a fan and watched the entire game. I agree with your post. The D-line was not able to plug the gaps and struggled to put any pressure on Sitkowski. Later in the second half the Illinois O-line was firing out and getting a major push. In my humble opinion that’s the real issue between a 7-0 and 5-2 team. Coach Franklin (with PSU & Sandy Barbour’s blessing) should put a “major emphasis” on landing solid interior linemen in his next recruiting class.
 

TheGLOV

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It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen from a PSU coach.

We were playing a bad team. We would have won with Roberson at QB.

Instead they rush back a quarter-healed Clifford and risk a more serious injury. And he was at 20% and played terrible.

Worst decision I have seen from Franklin

He is Mr. Loyalty to his starting QB's don't ya know.
 
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tullfan68

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I understand that Franklin thought we had a better chance with Clifford. But after a while he was just trying to get rid of the ball to avoid being hit. He couldn't run so he just took a dive when he couldn't get a pass off. By halftime it should have been obvious that Clifford couldn't do it today but we stuck with him. The only thing I can think of is that Franklin had confidence that Clifford wouldn't turn the ball over and he hoped that the defense would hold. I'm not sure what he saw in that game that would have made him fell that way.
he had 2 weeks to get someone ready cliff should not have played !!
 

KnightWhoSaysNit

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Angry that he left, but I know it was his decision. And I live in KY, watch all their games, and talk to many of their fans…he’s not doing all the things you claim. They win because of their running game and their defense. He has very little touch and he rarely throws the deep ball. If Clifford put up the numbers Levis has put up, he would get roasted on this board. Funny how posters on here are so much more realistic about other team’s players than our own.

It's early and I hate to be forced to base an argument on statistics, but the truth is that Levis is in his first year starting and has nearly identical stats when compared to Clifford:

Levis: 67% completion percentage throwing to receivers that are not reliable.
Average completion 7.5 yards.
13/6 TD/Int ratio
ESPN rating: 148
Rushing: 50 for 175 yards

Clifford : 66% completion percentage throwing to the likes of Dotson.
Average completion: 8.3 yards.
11/5 TD/Int ratio
ESPN rating: 151
Rushing: 44 for 173 yards

To each his own. I was impressed by what I saw. He's a physical presence, a part of the run game that you cite as a team strength. He now throws a much better ball compared to the limited action and role that I saw at PSU. He doesn't have the same quality of receivers. Dotson has made circus catches. Kentucky receivers get hit in the chest and drop the ball.

Be fair in your comparisons. Why would anyone think Levis is at a plateau in his first starting year since high school? Would you overlay the same standard to a PSU quarterback starting for the first time after spending years riding the pine?

I will admit my bias. I like the Levis type of quarterback -- tall, strong, tough to bring down -- the Roethlisberger type where QB size doesn't limit where we can pass the football. Levis will only get better in sensing pocket pressure, and in using his size/strength to avoid going down.

I want a QB that will extend passing plays. Clifford has not been durable. It's understandable. The more a QB gets hit the worse he is going to play.

I think the Levis type fits a Yurcich style offense, which is also my preference. I think we could be throwing over linemen with ease, whereas right now it seems like we concede that part of the field and let most of the defensive backfield key on the run.

Maybe we don't have tight ends with the size and hands. But what I do know is that our OL struggles at the line of scrimmage, and opposing linebackers can penetrate at will. Something has to change to make them play honest.
 
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CoastGuard2018

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It's early and I hate to be forced to base an argument on statistics, but the truth is that Levis is in his first year starting and has nearly identical stats when compared to Clifford:

Levis: 67% completion percentage throwing to receivers that are not reliable.
Average completion 7.5 yards.
13/6 TD/Int ratio
ESPN rating: 148
Rushing: 50 for 175 yards

Clifford : 66% completion percentage throwing to the likes of Dotson.
Average completion: 8.3 yards.
11/5 TD/Int ratio
ESPN rating: 151
Rushing: 44 for 173 yards

To each his own. I was impressed by what I saw. He's a physical presence, a part of the run game that you cite as a team strength. He now throws a much better ball compared to the limited action and role that I saw at PSU. He doesn't have the same quality of receivers. Dotson has made circus catches. Kentucky receivers get hit in the chest and drop the ball.

Be fair in your comparisons. Why would anyone think Levis is at a plateau in his first starting year since high school? Would you overlay the same standard to a PSU quarterback starting for the first time after spending years riding the pine?

I will admit my bias. I like the Levis type of quarterback -- tall, strong, tough to bring down -- the Roethlisberger type where QB size doesn't limit where we can pass the football. Levis will only get better in sensing pocket pressure, and in using his size/strength to avoid going down.

I want a QB that will extend passing plays. Clifford has not been durable. It's understandable. The more a QB gets hit the worse he is going to play.

I think the Levis type fits a Yurcich style offense, which is also my preference. I think we could be throwing over linemen with ease, whereas right now it seems like we concede that part of the field and let most of the defensive backfield key on the run.

Maybe we don't have tight ends with the size and hands. But what I do know is that our OL struggles at the line of scrimmage, and opposing linebackers can penetrate at will. Something has to change to make them play honest.
Levis is a good athlete with excellent size and athletic measurables but if you watched any of his games he is just not a natural accurate thrower. He had his chance to come in and possibly take the job away from Clifford but only performed marginally.
 
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MacNit07

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A 28 point loss to OSU would be a decent outcome tbh. Illinois ran for 350+ on us with one of the worst QBs at a P5 program. They had just 94 total yards last week. OSU has a better run game and the ability to pass
To be honest, it might be so bad next week that it will be the final straw for CJF…but will USC still want him?
 

jim cummings

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The game plan was shit. Pure shit. 3 solid tight ends creating matchup nightmares and all we get is one play down the sideline to Strange and some wildcat.

To save Clifford they could have just run inside slants with the TE’s. Pitch and catch. Weird. It’s frustrating how they can take successful plays and just omit them from the next games plan. Is Illinois’ secondary better than Auburn? FFS.
 
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ryoder1

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Not if you didn’t have a serviceable backup. Obviously, Illinois wasn’t the automatic win everyone thought they were. So if Franklin would have sat Clifford and we would have lost with Roberson, then Franklin would have gotten lambasted for doing that especially if people knew Clifford was cleared to play. We had a shot at a really good season, we had some key injuries that changed that, it happens, that’s football. Only a couple of teams could overcome that and we’re not one of them.
Not having a serviceable backup is all on Franklin. No way he can escape blame for this miserable performance. Two weeks to get ready and they play uninspired, gutless football agsinst an inferior team that may have only one or two players who would have received a scholarship to PSU. And at some point you have to go to the backup when you have a wounded duck back there. A colossal meltdown by players AND coaches.
 
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NITTANYJGK

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Roberson wouldn't have done $HIT today except maybe caused us to lose in regulation. Some of you people fail to realize that Roberson should be playing at Slippery Rock or Lehigh.
 
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Cowbell Man

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Levis is a good athlete with excellent size and athletic measurables but if you watched any of his games he is just not a natural accurate thrower. He had his chance to come in and possibly take the job away from Clifford but only performed marginally.
This. And we managed to go 0-5 last year with both in house. I remember wondering why the staff didn’t go to the third string guy since neither Clifford or Levis could get it done.
 

BUFFALO LION

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Really? What would you have done differently? Levis is getting a better college career by transferring. So are you angry at Levis or are you angry that Franklin did not use him enough (passing) to keep him at PSU? I thought our system prior to this year wasn't good for the QBs we had on the roster. Levis is now in a better system. Ironically, PSU has a better system this year to fit Clifford as well.

From what I've seen, Levis is easily of starting QB caliber. He is getting better -- much more accurate with regular playing time. After two full years he could get a look from an NFL team. He can run, throw deep or short with touch, has a nice release, tight spiral. Even has NFL prototypical size. His stats would be better if he had reliable receivers.

Levis did what was right for himself -- what a college student should do to reach his potential and prepare for a profession. We've had many starting QBs at PSU that would rank behind the 2021 version of Levis.

We might be 7-0 with Levis at PSU but that is speculation. He seems a lot better after playing regularly. He would have come in cold in the Iowa game.

GO KENTUCKY!!!!!!!!!

Let me ease your mind right now. There is probably at least a 90% chance we are 7-0 and still in the National Championship hunt with Levis as our backup. Based on how fvcked up Clifford looked today, Levis could be starting for us the rest of the year.

i don’t give one freakin sh!t what Levis does at Kentucky. I don’t root for Kentucky. If he wants to transfer, he has the legal right to. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to like it. Him giving us the finger and leaving just cost us two very important football games.

Fvck Kentucky.
 

BUFFALO LION

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Roberson wouldn't have done $HIT today except maybe caused us to lose in regulation. Some of you people fail to realize that Roberson should be playing at Slippery Rock or Lehigh.

Then why is he here.

This new hot OC had two weeks and a game against a supposedly inferior opponent to come up with a Plan B. It’s now pretty obvious he not only has no Plan B, but he didn’t even have a Plan A to begin with.

If Yurcich’s Plan A was to shove an obviously injured QB into a game where he was only going to aggravate an existing injury, with no ability to run and limited ability to pass, then what the crap are we paying him for???

If Roberson is as bad a QB as you say he is, then at least try him at RB. He sure can’t be any slower or less elusive than the pathetically slow, dancing mules we have at the position now. And at least he might be good for something.

To have two weeks to prepare an offense against probably the worst team in the Conference, and come up with what we saw yesterday, is totally unacceptable.
 

danvillenit

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Jan 22, 2012
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The game plan was shit. Pure shit. 3 solid tight ends creating matchup nightmares and all we get is one play down the sideline to Strange and some wildcat.

To save Clifford they could have just run inside slants with the TE’s. Pitch and catch. Weird. It’s frustrating how they can take successful plays and just omit them from the next games plan. Is Illinois’ secondary better than Auburn? FFS.
Guess you forgot the pitch and catch slant that Johnson dropped that would have been a TD
 
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JoeLion

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There we’re a lot of missed opportunities, dropped balls, poor throws, missed reads etc. but at the end of the day if you cannot run the ball or stop the run you are probably going to lose.
 

CoastGuard2018

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Roberson wouldn't have done $HIT today except maybe caused us to lose in regulation. Some of you people fail to realize that Roberson should be playing at Slippery Rock or Lehigh.
At WR or safety maybe. From what I have seen he isn’t an accurate enough passer to play at either place.
 

AWS1022

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Nov 12, 2011
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It's early and I hate to be forced to base an argument on statistics, but the truth is that Levis is in his first year starting and has nearly identical stats when compared to Clifford:

Levis: 67% completion percentage throwing to receivers that are not reliable.
Average completion 7.5 yards.
13/6 TD/Int ratio
ESPN rating: 148
Rushing: 50 for 175 yards

Clifford : 66% completion percentage throwing to the likes of Dotson.
Average completion: 8.3 yards.
11/5 TD/Int ratio
ESPN rating: 151
Rushing: 44 for 173 yards

To each his own. I was impressed by what I saw. He's a physical presence, a part of the run game that you cite as a team strength. He now throws a much better ball compared to the limited action and role that I saw at PSU. He doesn't have the same quality of receivers. Dotson has made circus catches. Kentucky receivers get hit in the chest and drop the ball.

Be fair in your comparisons. Why would anyone think Levis is at a plateau in his first starting year since high school? Would you overlay the same standard to a PSU quarterback starting for the first time after spending years riding the pine?

I will admit my bias. I like the Levis type of quarterback -- tall, strong, tough to bring down -- the Roethlisberger type where QB size doesn't limit where we can pass the football. Levis will only get better in sensing pocket pressure, and in using his size/strength to avoid going down.

I want a QB that will extend passing plays. Clifford has not been durable. It's understandable. The more a QB gets hit the worse he is going to play.

I think the Levis type fits a Yurcich style offense, which is also my preference. I think we could be throwing over linemen with ease, whereas right now it seems like we concede that part of the field and let most of the defensive backfield key on the run.

Maybe we don't have tight ends with the size and hands. But what I do know is that our OL struggles at the line of scrimmage, and opposing linebackers can penetrate at will. Something has to change to make them play honest.
But Levis chose to leave, so there’s that. It’s also easier to have adequate passing stats when your run game is so dominant. Every defense knows Clifford is passing most of the time. I don’t think Levis would have Clifford’s numbers if he was out starting QB. And Clifford is a mobile QB who adds to the run game….unfortunately he got hurt. It happens.
 

BobPSU92

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Coach Franklin (with PSU & Sandy Barbour’s blessing) should put a “major emphasis” on landing solid interior linemen in his next recruiting class.

I‘m pretty sure Franklin doesn’t need anyone’s blessing to recruit better offensive linemen.
 

AWS1022

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Then why is he here.

This new hot OC had two weeks and a game against a supposedly inferior opponent to come up with a Plan B. It’s now pretty obvious he not only has no Plan B, but he didn’t even have a Plan A to begin with.

If Yurcich’s Plan A was to shove an obviously injured QB into a game where he was only going to aggravate an existing injury, with no ability to run and limited ability to pass, then what the crap are we paying him for???

If Roberson is as bad a QB as you say he is, then at least try him at RB. He sure can’t be any slower or less elusive than the pathetically slow, dancing mules we have at the position now. And at least he might be good for something.

To have two weeks to prepare an offense against probably the worst team in the Conference, and come up with what we saw yesterday, is totally unacceptable.
Sometimes highly regarded recruits don’t work out and yes, that happens to every coach not just Franklin.
 

mn78psu83

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I suppose this one falls under desperate times require desperate measures. Roberson just wouldn't do. Nevertheless, Clifford was more than a little hindered by the injury. On the Philly Special he looked like a middle-aged father tipsy at a tailgate trying to adjust to an errant nerf ball thrown by his son. I'm half kidding. Warren had a defender right on him and what should have been an easy throw was altered and inaccurate. Still, Clifford did not have much agility.
 
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