The Nittany Lions had their chances and took the Cardinal to five sets, but they ultimately couldn't put the pieces together.
Clifford's poised play helped Penn State establish an efficient brand of offense Saturday.
"Last year wasn't Penn State football in so many ways. The way that we played wasn't great, but at the same time, we were in here by ourselves...I think we feed off that energy."
Jesse Luketa was a catalyst for Penn State's consistent defensive performance Saturday.
Next weekend will be Penn State's 23rd overall appearance on the show and its 10th time hosting.
A dominant all-around performance gave Penn State a win in its home opener on Saturday.