North End’s 10-goal striker saw his effort saved after Callum Robinson had been felled by Omar Bogle early on in the 0-0 draw at the DW Stadium.
Matt Gilks also denied Hugill from the rebound as the Lilywhites missed out on a third straight win.
“He’s been brilliant for us Jordan,” said Clarke.
“He’s confident, he’s scoring and he wanted it straight away.
“There’s no blame on anyone, it’s one of those things in a game.
“We had a talk as a team at half-time and his spirits were high.
“He’s been doing well, he was obviously disappointed but he’ll move on and in the second half I thought he did well.
“He kept on going and kept his head down.”
It was a goal that would have likely settled a game that was far from a classic, neither side managing a shot on target in the second half.
“It was always going to be a difficult game.” said the Preston skipper.
“It was a tight game, the pitch wasn’t brilliant and we knew it was going to be the odd, scruffy goal that could have won it.
“We got the penalty, it’s just disappointing it didn’t go in because we could have pushed on after that.
“But we kept going and kept it tight at the back.
“We know we’ve got that frontline with Geads (Aiden McGeady) and Daryl Horgan and others who can do something but it just didn’t happen.
“It was difficult, they’re fighting for the points and so are we.”
Any winning goal would have set off jubilant scenes in the away end, all 4,765 North End fans given Simon Grayson masks to mark the manager reaching four years in charge.
“It was great for the gaffer on his anniversary,” said Clarke, who will himself reach four years at Deepdale this summer.
“It’s just disappointing we couldn’t get the win for them.
“They’ve come out in their numbers and never stopped singing and it would have been nice to send them home with a win in a derby.”