Inside the Box Score: Key stats from Penn State’s win vs. Central Michigan

It is difficult to argue with the performance of any team that wins a game by a final score of 33-14, but it is possible to argue Penn State did not have its best performance against Central Michigan in Week 4. Some of the team and individual stats may not blow anybody away, but there were some encouraging developments sprinkled across Penn State’s 33-14 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday.

The running game saw another freshman step up in a big way and the secondary got a huge showing from one of its top recruits from the Class of 2021. And it was another overall solid afternoon from Penn State’s veteran quarterback even if it was not one of his better afternoons.

Let’s dig into some of the key stats from Penn State’s Week 4 victory over Central Michigan.

Sean Clifford: 22-of-34, 217 yards, 3 TDs, 1 rushing TD

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

[autotag]Sean Clifford[/autotag] had another fine start to the game by completing his first eight pass attempts, which helped Penn State take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. But after that hot start, things cooled significantly. Clifford was just 14-of-26 after his first eight attempts, but he did not turn the football over with a bad decision or throw. Clifford got a chance to relax for the rest of the afternoon midway through the fourth quarter, with [autotag]Drew Allar[/autotag] taking over for the rest of the day.

Clifford added another rushing touchdown to his stats this season as well.

Kaytron Allen: 111 rushing yards, 1 TD

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Kaytron Allen (13) runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

After back-to-back weeks of Nick Singleton grabbing the spotlight, this week was time for Kaytron Allen to provide the lift on offense. Allen recorded his first career 100-yard game, and Penn State needed it. Penn State rushed for 166 yards as a team, with Allen’s 111 yards leading the way.

Nick Singleton: 42 rushing yards

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Nicholas Singleton (10) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The back-to-back Big Ten freshman of the week was held under control by a solid defensive effort from Central Michigan. Singleton rushed for just 42 yards on 12 carries and an average of 3.5 yards per run. Fortunately, Penn State had Allen to make up for a slow day for Singleton.

Parker Washington: 6 receptions, 64 yards

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Parker Washington (3) runs with the ball while trying to avoid a tackle from Central Michigan Chippewas defensive back Trey Jones (3) during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State wide receiver [autotag]Parker Washington[/autotag] finally had a day in which he led the team in receiving yards, and he waste little time picking up some yardage with a 27-yard reception on the first offensive play of the game by Penn State. Washington was without a touchdown once again, but Sean Clifford has managed to spread the ball around. Eventually, Washignton will pick up a touchdown.

Brenton Strange: 5 receptions on 5 targets, 42 yards, 2 TDs

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Brenton Strange (86) runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State’s big tight end [autotag]Brenton Strange[/autotag] continued to make some big plays for the Nittany Lions. Strange caught two touchdowns and caught all five passes intended for him in the game. Central Michigan had no answer for Strange any time the ball came in his direction.

Mitchell Tinsley: 4 receptions, 51 yards, 1 TD

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions Òwide receiver Mitchell Tinsley (5) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps Penn State’s top red zone target, Mitchell Tinsley had some ups and downs against Central Micgigan. Tinsley caught a touchdown for a red zone score for Penn State, but he also only managed to come down with four catches on nine pass attempts intended for him. There were likely a few moments Tinsley would like to have back, but any time he gets in the end zone is an overall positive development for Penn State’s offense.

Penn State defense: 13 pass breakups

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Johnny Dixon (3) intercepts the ball intended for Central Michigan Chippewas wide receiver Carlos Carriere (2) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Central Michigan showed a good ability to make some nice catches in the passing game against Penn State, but the secondary broke up 13 passes throughout the afternoon. [autotag]Johnnie Dixon[/autotag] and linebacker [autotag]Robbie Dwyer[/autotag] each came up with interceptions.

[autotag]Joey Porter Jr.[/autotag] came up with three pass breakups as well.

Kalen King: 4 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

AUBURN, ALABAMA – SEPTEMBER 17: Wide receiver Ja’Varrius Johnson #6 of the Auburn Tigers attempts to catch a pass in front of cornerback Kalen King #4 of the Penn State Nittany Lions during the second half of play at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Penn State’s secondary had a monster performance overall, and Kalen King was a big factor in the effort. King broke up a team-high four passes, and he even forced a fumble and recovered it for a big stop in the second half.

Barney Amor: 4 punts, 44.5 yards per punt, 3 inside the 20

Sep 24, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; A general view of Beaver Stadium prior to the game between the Central Michigan Chippewas and the Penn State Nittany Lions. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The love for Barney Amor continues to grow in Happy Valley. Amor punted the football four times and came through in a big way each time. Amor continues to pin opponents deep, and that has continued to allow the defense to generate some momentum and big plays to set the offense up for success.

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire