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Penn State suffers first loss; QB Clifford injured

Penn State lost its first game of the season Saturday at Iowa, falling 23-20, in the process also lost starting quarterback Sean Clifford.

Clifford started and sparked the Nittany Lions to a 17-3 lead before suffering an undisclosed injury in the second quarter. He went into the sideline tent for treatment and then to the locker room. When he returned for the second half, his pads were off.

FOX showed Clifford holding his back as he jogged to the locker room.

Penn State coach James Franklin, who generally doesn’t comment on injuries, “wouldn’t get into specifics,” about Clifford’s condition, FOX reported.

Backup quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson struggled, fumbling his first snap and throwing two interceptions. The offensive line also committed repeated false-start penalties as the Lions lost their momentum, and despite leading at halftime 17-10, they were outscored 13-3 in the second half.

In total, the Lions committed 11 penalties — eight false-starts.

Penn State, which entered the game ranked No. 4, fell to 5-1.

The Lions are idle next Saturday before returning to host Illinois on Oct. 23 (noon kickoff).

Iowa, ranked No. 3, won its sixth-straight game against a ranked opponent and improved to 6-0 on the season.

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