Key stats from Penn State’s win over Michigan State

Penn State’s 35-16 win over Michigan State was anything but a decisive victory. The Nittany Lions were on the edge in the fourth quarter as the Spartans nibbled at a Penn State lead, but a couple of big plays on offense helped Penn State breathe a little easier in the final minutes of the game.

But what does the box score say about things? Penn State controlled all offensive yards with a 410-254 mark, and the Nittany Lions were .500 on third down tries and perfect on two fourth down tries. Those stats alone will mostly lead to a win, so Penn State will be proud of that.

Here are some of the other key stats, both for the team and for some individual efforts, from Penn State’s Land Grant Trophy win over Michigan State.

Sean Clifford: 19 of 24, 202 yards, 4 TD

11/26/2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Say what you want [autotag]Sean Clifford[/autotag], but the sophomore delivered in the clutch when Penn State’s offense needed it. After watching Michigan State trim a 21-3 deficit to a 21-16 game in the fourth quarter, Clifford helped orchestrate a successful 75-yard touchdown drive, which was followed by a screen pass to Nick Singleton was crowned fourth and one for a touchdown.

Clifford didn’t have good protection in front of him, which is perhaps a recurring theme in his legacy, but Clifford showed himself big in the game’s biggest offensive run and there’s no taking that away from him.

Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton: 160 rushing yards, 74 receiving yards, 1 TD

11/26/2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Nicholas Singleton (10) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The two newcomers have been leading the game in progress for a while now, and it’s probably necessary to simply combine their stats together rather than compare and contrast the two. The running game had to work hard against the Spartans every meter [autotag]Kaytron Allen[/autotag] and [autotag]Nick Singleton[/autotag] once again proved they are a great combination for this offense.

Penn State: 14 points less revenue

11/26/2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Coziah Izzard (99) tackles Michigan State Spartans running back Jalen Berger (8) for a yards loss in the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

A specific Penn State area head coach [autotag]James Franklin[/autotag] likes to take note of, every week is the sales battle. Luckily for him, Penn State easily won that contest in that game.

Michigan State coughed the ball twice on offense and once more on special teams for a total of three in the game. Penn State capitalized on two of those turnovers with two quick second-half touchdowns but missed a field goal attempt early in the game.

Michigan State Offense: 4-for-14 on third down, 2-for-3 on fourth down

11/26/2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Payton Thorne (10) is released by Penn State Nittany Lions defense end Adisa Isaac (20) in the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

If you were a Penn State fan watching this game at home, it sure felt like Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne was catching some big passes off his goals a little more often than he did the box -Score suggests. The Spartans managed to stay on the field six times out of 14 third-down games and three fourth-down games.

Abdul Carter: 3 TFL, 2 sacks

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The great young linebacker from Penn State, [autotag]Abdel Carter[/autotag]He had many great moments for the Penn State defense. Carter chased Payton Thorne twice and had three tackles for a loss. He also almost got his hands on an easy defensive touchdown, and if he hadn’t bumped into a teammate, he might have had it.

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire

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