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Ask Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford about the mentality of the Nittany Lions in 2022, and he’ll admit it. This is a team with a desire to prove something to their doubters.
“Hard-working team,” Clifford described the team when asked how he would identify the team during a live stream of Penn State football media day coverage from the school’s official website. “Team with a chip on our shoulder. We’re ready to right the ship now.”
Penn State went 7-6 last season, a year after going just 4-5 in the COVID-modified season. After appearing in a New Years Six bowl game in three of the previous four seasons, Clifford believes Penn State has a chance to rebound a bit in 2022. And it is the work being done in the offseason that he believes will lead to positive results in the fall.
“I think from a mental standpoint, we are light years ahead of where we were last year. I think that’s just a fact, ” Clifford said. “We’re in a really good place mentally. Now to put together those physical attributes, we can go on to perform at a high level.”
“I truly believe your team is found when you’re away from the coaches and the players have to do it themselves,” Clifford explained during Penn State media day on Saturday. “The summer was a grind, but it was a really good one.”
The 2022 season will also mark the second straight season Clifford has to work with the same offensive coordinator, Mike Yurcich. And according to Clifford, and most others, having a second year to work with the same coordinator is a big plus for Penn State’s sixth-year quarterback.
“I think that the number one thing that Coach Yurcich and I have worked on is the communication presnap,” Clifford said when asked about the biggest benefit of having the same coordinator for a second season for his first time with the program. “In the game when I’m playing, that’s on me… but the presnap, eliminating missed assignments… he’s been a great resource for me.”
Clifford and Penn State open the 2022 season on Thursday, September 1 at Purdue.
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