More than trash talk was sent in the direction of Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford after the Gophers upset the then-fourth-ranked Nittany Lions on Nov. 9.
Clifford, who was shown on video mocking the Gophers' "Row the Boat" mantra before throwing three interceptions in the game, says he had to deactivate his social media accounts after receiving death threats after the 31-26 loss.
"I usually delete closer to games, but I completely deleted it after the Minnesota game," Clifford said this week, via USA Today. "It's kind of sad to say but you know how fans sometimes get. ... It gets a little crazy. I was kind of, I guess, sick and tired of getting death threats, and some pretty explicit and pretty tough-to-read messages.
“But you know, you learn how to deal with certain things and, and how certain people are just gonna react because, you know, it's a very passionate game with a lot of passionate people. You know, our fans are definitely one of, if not, the most passionate in the country. I just try to stay away from it. I appreciate all of the positive people that are around, but there’s also people that try to tear you down. It’s always just been better to keep your head away from that kind of stuff.”
It's unclear who sent the threats, but Clifford didn't tweet for a week after the 23-19 loss at TCF Bank Stadium, and he hasn't posted to Instagram since Nov. 2.
Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck is quoted in the Star Tribune as saying "that's how sick our world is," adding that people in the public eye deal sometimes deal with things at "an extreme level."
Penn State officials provided a statement to ESPN saying "Penn State Police are aware of these allegations and have been providing support to the affected student."
Penn State (9-1) is ranked eighth in the College Football Playoff rankings, two spots ahead of Minnesota (9-1).