Photos by Aaron J. Thornton
by Aaron J. Thornton, For The Michigan Chronicle
Michigan’s No. 3-ranked football team went on the road to Penn State and came out on top 24-15 to stay undefeated on the season. Through a year of distractions, including a second suspension handed down on Head Coach Jim Harbaugh the day before, the Wolverines focused and tamed the Nittany Lions in front of the second largest crowd ever at Beaver Stadium in Pennsylvania. Harbaugh and Michigan learned just 21 hours earlier that the Big Ten Conference would impose a three game suspension to Harbaugh for what has come out regarding in-person sign stealing tactics by former staffer Connor Stallions. Stallions has since resigned from Michigan.
Offensive Coordinator Sherrone Moore would lead the Wolverines in Harbaugh’s absence. Michigan’s offense started slowly, having to punt on its first two possessions in the first quarter. But the defense was able to keep Penn State out of the end zone, including forcing a field goal when the Nittany Lions were in position to score a touchdown from the Wolverines three yard line late in the first quarter. The maize and blue finally got on the board in the second quarter on a three yard touchdown run by Running Back Blake Corum to take a 7-3 lead. Later in the quarter, Michigan added another touchdown behind a 22 yard touchdown run by Donovan Edwards silencing the crowd and making the score 14-3. Penn State drove down field on their next possession and would find themselves in the end zone with 35 seconds left in the half when Quarterback Drew Allar ran the ball in from 11 yards out. The Nittany Lions then attempted a two point conversion and failed, and the teams would go into halftime with the scoreboard reading Michigan 14 – Penn State 9.
Penn State started the second half with the ball and came up with one first down before Michigan’s defense would force a fumble and recover at midfield. Off the turnover, Michigan then drove down to the Nittany Lion four yard line but would have to settle for a field goal to increase their lead to eight points in the game (17-9).
The defenses of both teams stood tall in the fourth quarter, as Michigan would punt on its first three possessions in the quarter and Penn State would punt on its first two and turn the ball over on downs on its third possession. When the Wolverines received the ball back on the failed 4th down conversion from the Nittany Lions 30 yard line, they wasted no time in taking advantage of the field position as Corum would take the hand off and run the ball in for his longest score of the season with a 30 yard rush. The touchdown made the score 24-9 in favor of Michigan with just over four minutes left in the game and sending a number of Penn State fans to the exits. The Nittany Lions would drive down field and score on their next possession but would again fail on their two point conversion attempt making the score 24-15 with about two minutes left. On a last effort, Penn State attempted an onside kick to try and get the ball back but Michigan’s Mike Sainristil would recover and the Wolverines could smell victory. Michigan ultimately needed one first down conversion to secure the win and a nine yard run by Corum on third down and five would do just that.
It was a Michigan triumph led by the defense and the running backs. Corum led with 145 rushing yards in the game with Edwards adding 52 rushing yards of his own. McCarthy finished with just 60 yards of passing, but completed 7 or 8 pass attempts and ran for 34 yards. On defense, Rod Moore led Michigan with six tackles with a number of others adding five in the game. The Michigan defense also forced and recovered one fumble.
Michigan (10-0) will travel East next week to take on the Maryland Terrapins (6-4). Penn State (8-2) will look to pick up another win in their next game when they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-4).
Final Score: Michigan 24 – Penn State 15