Great analysis. This was a classic play not to lose that Franklin loves to do and we....lose. I believe Franklin thought we could hold on and win it at the end with one of our playmakers like Dotson breaking loose and we win 17-10. He must have thought that a hobbled, injured Clifford gave us a better shot vs Roberson perhaps for preventing a TO. Only thing I can think of as it is an example of playing not to lose and milking a lead.
There was a point in that game, probably mid 3rd after it was clear we made no defensive adjustments at halftime and SC had nothing left that people's thoughts about the outcome of the game went from being an ugly PSU win to we could very well lose this game. At that juncture is when Roberson needed to be inserted. But Franklin puckered up and was just hoping we could hold on, bad decision.
By the time OT arrived he felt locked into Clifford dedpite limited playcalling. The fact that we could only gind the end zone once in all those OTs speaks to jow inept the offense is. Absolutely no run game. Totally agree about Cain not stetching the ball over yet the Illinois RB knows how to do that. Why is that?
On the pass to Clifford that Illini defender was bearing in on Warren and rushed everything. Timing got screwed up combined with a limited Clifford spelled doom. Who was supposed to block that guy? Just another example of someone not making a simple play.
At the end of the day this game comes down to another example of a PSU Franklin team completely lacking physical and mental toughness. Losing and getting outcoached is a sequel in this bad movie. Look at all the come from ahead key losses we have had under Franklin....U$C, O$U in '17 and '18, MSU in '17 and '18. I am sure there are more.
And what did all of those losses have in common? We simply could not muscle first downs, especially in short yardage spots, when our defense totally needed a rest and the other team had wrestled all momentum.