Penn State starting quarterback Sean Clifford: "I completely deleted it [Instagram account] after the Minnesota game. It’s kind of sad to see how some fans get. It gets a little crazy. I was kind of sick and tired of getting death threats and some pretty explicit and tough-to-read messages. But you learn how to deal with certain things and how certain people are going to react because it’s a very passionate game with a lot of passionate people. Our fans are definitely some of, if not the most passionate fans in the country. I just try to stay away from it. I appreciate all the positive people that are around but there’s also people that try to tear you down. I think it’s always been better to keep your head away from that kind of stuff. There are certain things that I wish the fans wouldn’t say. Obviously, I’m not the only one who hears from people, but, yeah, I’d probably just rather keep certain things confidential.”
Sophomore Penn State starting quarterback Sean Clifford says he had to delete his social media accounts after alleging he received death threats from Penn State fans after his career-worst performance against the then-undefeated and no. 17 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers on November 9th.
Clifford, who currently ranks 11th in the NCAA in QBR, was picked off three times and completed just 23 out of his 43 pass attempts in the Nittany Lions’ shocking upset loss that ended their perfect season.
At the time it was believed that the loss would instantly severe Penn State’s hopes at earning a berth in the College Football Playoff, but Tua Tagovailoa's season-ending hip injury should end any hope of the SEC getting three teams into the four-team playoff alongside undefeated Clemson, unbeaten or potential 1-loss LSU, and an SEC-Champion Georgia [If they happened to beat LSU in SEC title game], should Penn State upset Ohio State this weekend, beat Rutgers, and then end up winning the Big Ten Championship over Minnesota or Wisconsin.
Most believe that scenario would definitely leapfrog Penn State, currently 8th in the CFP Rankings, ahead of Alabama, Oregon, Utah, and stave off favored Big 12 Champion Oklahoma.
Penn State head coach James Franklin said of the unspecified alleged threats at Clifford’s life:
“I don’t know where we are as a society. We’re 9-1 and ranked in the top 10. We’ve had a pretty good year based on some people’s standards, but the players have to hear this? It’s not just our fan base — it’s all over. Everybody has a voice now. I don’t know if I have an answer for it, it’s a concern for all of us. There are behaviors in our society that are accepted, that I don’t know why they’re accepted.“