Penn State coach James Franklin expects the Nittany Lions to be better offensively when they host the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday in State College, Pa.
“We’ve got to be more explosive,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
The Nittany Lions (1-0) rallied for a 35-31 win over host Purdue in their Big Ten opener last Thursday. It took a Sean Clifford-to-Keyvone Lee 10-yard touchdown pass with 57 seconds remaining for the Nittany Lions to pull out the victory.
Clifford was 20-for-37 passing for 282 yards with four touchdowns and an interception that Purdue’s Chris Jefferson returned 72 yards to give the Boilermakers a 31-28 lead with 8:39 remaining. Clifford came through late, completing six of seven passes on Penn State’s game-winning drive.
Mitchell Tinsley had seven catches and a score for 84 yards, while Brenton Strange caught two passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Clifford threw TD passes of 12, 67, 29 and 10 yards, but the Nittany Lions rushed for just 98 yards on 32 carries, an average of 3.1 just yards. Kaytron Allen rushed for 31 yards on eight carries, with Lee gaining 30 yards on nine carries, and Clifford adding 11 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
“We found a way to get a tough, gritty win on the road,” Franklin said.
Meanwhile, the Bobcats (1-0) are coming off a 41-38 win over visiting Florida Atlantic University.
Ohio gave up 464 yards but held on after nearly squandering a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Kurtis Rourke completed 27 of 34 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns, with James Bostic making six catches for 136 yards and a score. Sieh Bangura rushed for 114 yards on 23 carries.
“It’s a great opportunity for our team and we’re focusing on taking a big step,” Ohio coach Tim Albin said. “The time in between your first game and your second game is when you’re going to make your most improvement. That’s an old coaching cliche, but it’s very true. So, we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
–Field Level Media