Lions host battered Boilermakers
PSU won’t face 7 starters or key players on Saturday
Penn State returns home Saturday to face Purdue, whose coach delivered a grim injury update Monday.
The Boilermakers will be without at least seven starters or key players, most notably all-America receiver/returner Rondale Moore. The Boilermakers lost Moore and quarterback Elijah Sindelar to injuries on the same play in last week’s 38-31 loss to Minnesota.
Coach Jeff Brohm said that Sindelar, a fifth-year senior, was scheduled for surgery Monday for a broken clavicle he sustained against Minnesota. Moore was helped off the field after getting a leg twisted on the same play.
Further, two of the team’s top defensive players and captains, linebacker Markus Bailey and tackle Lorenzo Neal, have not played this season. Other players out include running backs Tario Fuller and Richie Worship.
Moore’s loss is huge for the Boilermakers, who have stumbled to a 1-3 start. The sophomore was among the nation’s most exciting players last season, when he was the first true freshman named a consensus all-American in Big Ten history.
Moore, who also won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player, is Purdue’s leading receiver this season (27 catches, 369 yards). Brohm said he hoped the injury wouldn’t be season-ending.
“You’ve got to play with the cards you’re dealt with, and that happens every year,” Brohm said. “You know, we definitely want to do that and there’s no excuses whatsoever. There’s no complaints.”
Because of the injuries, Purdue is a
25½-point underdog to Penn State.
Penn State-Iowa set for prime-time kickoff: Penn State’s Oct. 12 game at Iowa is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff, the Big Ten announced Monday. The broadcast network will be determined Oct. 6.
If both Penn State and Iowa win Saturday (the Hawkeyes visit Michigan), the game likely will be picked by ABC’s primetime crew. The teams would be 5-0 and ranked in the top 15. Fox Sports 1 or Big Ten Network also could have the broadcast.
It will be Penn State’s third night game this season. Penn State played a night game at Iowa in 2017, when quarterback Trace McSorley hit receiver Juwan Johnson for a walk-off touchdown.
Sean Clifford recognized: Quarterback Sean Clifford picked up Penn State’s first Big Ten player-of-the-week award of the season.
Clifford was named co-offensive player of the week after completing 26 of 31 passes for 398 yards and three touchdowns in the Lions’ 59-0 victory over Maryland. Clifford, who also ran for a touchdown, threw for the most yards in a Big Ten road game in Penn State history.
Clifford shared the award with Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan, who was 21 for 22 for 396 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Purdue.
Clifford became the first Penn State player to win offensive POY honors in a year. Former running back Miles Sanders claimed the award in September 2018.
Penn State’s Sean Clifford was named Big Ten co-offensive player of the week after throwing for 398 yards against Maryland.