Through Penn State's first three games of the season, a number of players stood out in the trio of wins. The Big Ten opener, however, saw one Nittany Lion step up to a near record-setting level. Let's go to the voters.
Bill DiFilippo - The best player was someone on the defense, but Clifford looked like a QB1 in 2.5 quarters worth of action. He could have gotten every good single-game passing record if he stayed in, but outside of that, he was outstanding.
John Morgan - In his first road start, Clifford looked poised and took the crowd out of the game early. In addition to his great passing numbers, he was effective on the ground and made some great reads in the run game. A dominant performance which should only help his confidence going forward.
Barry Leonard - Clifford rebounded from a poor performance against Pitt and played spectacularly against the Terps. He threw for 398 yards, accounting for four total touchdowns, and looked great commanding the offense.
Andrew Rubin - Coming into the year, we all counted on Penn State to have a very good defense — so far they’ve delivered. But for the Lions to compete for a Big Ten title, they were always going to need Clifford to help the offense reach a high level. For the first time this year, he looked like the QB that could do that.
Matt de Bear - Jesse Luketa and Ellis Brooks had standout performances on defense, but the first-year starting quarterback was at another level. Just five incompletions, nearly 400 yards through the air, and four total touchdowns. It wasn't just the numbers, however. He looked poised and in full command of the offense from the opening snap.
Cliff Daddy McCliffordson
Nick Polak - He was absolutely electric on Friday night, and was two incredible plays by former recruiting target Nick Cross away from perhaps a record-breaking night. His accuracy was on point, he used his legs when he had to, and he looked confident throughout. Just an A+ performance all around for the new starter in his first road game.
Craig Fritz - Maryland had one scoring opportunity on 14 drives. They totaled 128 yards for the game. If calling a defense equated to art, that was some Rembrandt stuff.