Sean Clifford, Ji’Ayir Brown Win Rose Bowl MVPs
Following Penn State’s 35-21 thumping of Utah in the 2023 Rose Bowl, quarterback Sean Clifford and safety Ji’Ayir Brown were named the game’s offensive and defensive MVPs, respectively.
In what may go down as one of his best all-around performances, Clifford completed 16 of his 22 passes, amassing 279 yards and two touchdowns. His longest strike of the day was an 88-yard deep shot to Keandre Lambert-Smith, which is now the longest passing play in Rose Bowl history.
In the fourth quarter, Clifford took one last bow as a Nittany Lion before exiting the field in favor of true freshman Drew Allar.
Brown finished with a team-high eight tackles, also adding 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. His biggest splash play of the game was a third-quarter interception, which was returned 22 yards. It was his fourth pick of the season.
Postgame, Franklin said that Brown is the best safety in all of college football.
Both players are out of eligibility and will now move on from Happy Valley.
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About the Author
Kotelnicki would be James Franklin’s sixth offensive coordinator at Penn State.
The Nittany Lions are now 11-0 all time against the Bulldogs.
The Blue-White Game returned to its traditional format in 2023.