Michigan knows how to get it done in the Big House against Penn State.
The No. 5 Wolverines held the visiting No. 14 Nittany Lions scoreless in the first half — it was the first time Penn State hasn’t scored in the first two quarters since the Wolverines held them scoreless at the Big House over the first 30 minutes in 2016 — en route to a 42-7 victory Saturday.
Michigan maintained its perfect Big Ten record through a strong rushing effort and formidable pass rush.
Penn State entered the contest off four consecutive wins including a 45-point blowout victory over Pitt, and as one of the top teams the Wolverines have had to play. It was only the second time this season Michigan faced a top-15 team.
But, the Nittany Lions struggled in every aspect of the game. They finished with just 11 first downs, 184 total yards and three turnovers — and that’s just on offense. The Wolverines took advantage of a winded defense, and rushed for more than 250 yards to cap off the win.
Three takeaways from No. 5 Michigan’s win over No. 14 Penn State
Welcome to the Big House
Michigan has been dominant at home.
The Wolverines have outscored every visiting opponent by at least 21 points this season, and that streak continued against the Nittany Lions.
Quarterback Shea Patterson engineered some huge scoring drives, including a 10-play, 48-yard drive capped off by this 23-yard connection with Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Need a big play? Dial up Shea to DPJ. [email protected] opens up a 14-0 lead over Penn State: pic.twitter.com/yfNjqPwVFY
There was also a 13-play, 90-yard sequence that ended with Patterson finding Zach Gentry for seven yards and a score.
All in all, Patterson finished 11-of-17 passing for 144 yards and two touchdowns in a stunning offensive effort by the Wolverines.
Meet Michigan’s defense
What’s that saying? Defense wins championships? Well, the defensive effort from the Wolverines certainly looked title-worthy.
They gave Patterson plenty of help with two interceptions, including a pick-6 in the third quarter.
Quarterback Tommy Stevens was under center in place of Penn State starting QB Trace McSorley, and instead of finding his own receiver, Stevens’ pass fell into the hands of Brandon Watson — it was almost like the throw was meant for Watson all along. This was great for Michigan, not so great for the Nittany Lions.
62 yards … To. The. (Big) House.
Brandon Watson’s pick-six increases @UMichFootball’s lead to 28. pic.twitter.com/jrJTFmfPNm
The Wolverines snagged another pick, this time from McSorley, which would result in an offensive score. But, it wasn’t just the secondary that was so impressive. Michigan’s pass rush was dominant as well. In fact, just chalk up the entire defensive unit to having a near perfect outing.
While you’re here, say hello to the Wolverines run game
There isn’t much to say about Penn State. Along with the Nittany Lions struggling offense, their defense had its fair share of troubles.
The Wolverines ran up, down, around and every which way against Penn State. Michigan was coming off an impressive outing against Wisconsin, which was led by running back Karan Higdon and again he impressed against the Nittany Lions.
Higdon ended the day with 132 of the team’s 259 rushing yards. He also ran in a quick four-yard score to boost the Wolverines’ lead.
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So, whether it was offensively, defensively, in the air or on the ground — there was no stopping Michigan and every Wolverine was celebrating.
No celebration is safe from @Chase_Winovich’s Revenge Tour. ? pic.twitter.com/e5lt564Enk
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