Clark Earns Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Accolades
Nov. 24, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; - One of the players instrumental in Penn State's 49-18 thumping of No. 15 Michigan State on Saturday has been honored by the Big Ten Conference.
Junior quarterback Daryll Clark (Youngstown, Ohio) threw for a career-high 341 yards and four touchdowns to earn Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week. He shares the honor with Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter.
The conference honor is the second of the season for Clark. Seven Nittany Lions were recognized a total of eight times this season by the Big Ten.
In his first year as the Nittany Lions' starter, Clark delivered his best performance of the season to lift Penn State (11-1, 7-1) to the Big Ten Championship and an automatic berth into the Bowl Championship Series. He led the Lions to 557 yards of total offense, 8.4 yards per play and a season-high nine plays of 20 yards or more from scrimmage.
Clark threw for the sixth-high passing yardage total in school history, leading the Nittany Lions to a program record 419 passing yards. He was 16 of 26, throwing four touchdown passes, including a career-long 70-yarder to Deon Butler (Woodbridge, Va.) and a 32-yard scoring strike to Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.).
Clark completed passes of 70, 49, 37, 33, 32, 28 and 26 yards against the Spartans and averaged an amazing 21.3 yards per completion. He produced the first 300-yard passing game and the most passing yards by a Penn Stater since Michael Robinson threw for 379 yards vs. Wisconsin in 2003. Anthony Morelli had the last four-touchdown passing game for a Penn State quarterback, against Buffalo in 2007.
The former Ursuline High School standout completed 11-of-18 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, directing Penn State to a 28-7 lead, marking his fifth 200-yard passing game of the season.
In the Michigan State game, Clark surpassed 2,000 passing yards passing for the season, marking the fourth straight season in which a Penn State quarterback has done so. It is the 13th 2,000-yard passing season in Penn State history and Clark is the 12th player to accomplish the feat.
His 2,319 yards on 171-of-285 passing (60 percent) rank as the seventh-best passing yardage season in Penn State history. His 171 completions rank seventh in a season and his 17 touchdown passes are tied for seventh. Clark is second in the Big Ten in pass efficiency with a 145.2 rating.
Clark has just four interceptions in 285 attempts for a superlative 1.4 interception percentage. Penn State is tied for second in the nation in fewest interceptions thrown; one of just four teams that has four or fewer picks this season.
The 6-2, 235-pound Clark also ran for a touchdown vs. MSU, pushing his season rushing TD total to nine. He has accounted for 26 touchdowns this season.
Clark is directing an offense that leads the Big Ten in two of the four primary categories and is no lower than third. The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in total (452.2 ypg, 15th in nation) and scoring offense (40.2 ppg, 10th), are second in the conference in rushing (211.6 ypg, 15th) and third in passing offense (240.6 ypg, 37th).
Penn State and Tulsa are the only teams in the nation averaging more than 210 rushing yards per game and 240 passing yards per game, according to the Nov. 23 NCAA statistics.
Coach Joe Paterno's squad is ranked No. 8 in this week's BCS standings and will play in the Rose Bowl (Jan 1, 2009) or BCS National Championship (Jan. 8). Penn State is No. 6 in the Associated Press, USA Today Coaches and Harris Interactive polls. The BCS pairings will be announced Sunday, Dec 7.