He has been the "if only'' guy for a couple of years now.

Like if only Sean Clifford had done this or hadn't done that.

He was the catalyst for success Penn State had once achieved and hoped to achieve, especially this year, coming off a 4-5 Covid-19 darkened season.

The pre season analysis in Athlon told the story of what was expected.

"Their hopes of bouncing back will hinge on Clifford doing like-wise was the call for the Lions 2021 Big Ten hopes.''

So it was out there for the junior QB who had started 20 of games for the Lions going into the season, with a fairly impressive 41 TD to 16 interception ratio.

But he had to it in games that  are crucial for success such as Penn Stat, such as an opening season game against Wisconsin and, on Saturday night, a key match up against a strong SEC opponent in Auburn.

The challenge was clear.

If Penn State wanted to be a player in the Big Ten and beyond, Sean Clifford had to perform.

Done and done.

In Saturday's pulsating 28-20 victory over Auburn, Clifford carried it to the next level,  completing 28 of 32 passes for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns--all of that in pressure conditions against a  high quality defense.

"It was probably the calmest I've been in a game, to be honest with you,'' said Clifford after the game. ""I went in, and from the first snap, I was seeing everything  so clearly tonight.''

For that, as well as for guiding the Nittany Lions to a 3-0 start, with wins over two ranked teams, Clifford is TMG's Newsmaker of the Week.