Penn State vs. Purdue score, takeaways: Sean Clifford throws game-winning TD after back-breaking big six

Penn State defeated Purdue 35-31 in a thrilling season opener that saw seven lead changes and Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford go through a lifetime’s worth of emotions on a night. Penn State appeared to take control of the game early as Clifford found Brendan Strange for a 67-yard touchdown pass with two seconds left to give the Nittany Lions a 21-10 lead. It was a lead that didn’t last long as the second half began.

The Boilermakers dominated the third quarter, stringing together two touchdown drives and holding Penn State 33 yards on offense to take a 24-21 lead. Penn State would regain the lead early in the fourth quarter when Clifford found KeAndre Lambert-Smith for a 29-yard touchdown pass, but the game was far from over.

After two minutes, Purdue went three-and-out. Clifford fired a pass over the head of target Mitchell Tinsley and over the eager arms of Purdue’s Chris Jefferson. Jefferson took the ball 72 yards to the house to put Purdue back in front, and it looked like Penn State’s night was over. The Nittany Lions managed just 14 yards on their next two possessions and forced a punt, but Purdue couldn’t put the final nail in the coffin and it cost them.

Penn State got the ball once again with 2:22 left to play, and the Nittany Lions put together an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with 1:25 left before Clifford threw his fourth touchdown of the night, this time to Keavon Lee, 12 feet. scored from

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