The Michigan Wolverines collected their 10th win of the season after taking down Penn State Saturday by a score of 21-17. The first quarter was seemingly uneventful for the Maize and Blue, but luckily the offense found its rhythm soon after. Penn State never felt far behind and eventually took over the lead in the fourth quarter, but a late touchdown for the Wolverines proved too much to overcome.
While the Wolverines didn’t score in the first quarter, they didn’t make anything easy for the Nittany Lions. Michigan’s defense got to quarterback Sean Clifford three times on the their first drive of the game before they struck first with a field goal. Michigan compensated later by snuffing out a second attempt at a fake punt, forcing a fumble that set up Michigan’s first touchdown to Roman Wilson, which came in the second quarter. This put Michigan ahead at the half 7-6.
The Wolverines opened the second half with a second touchdown to Wilson. While there were no rushing touchdowns this game, running back Hassan Haskins was crucial in providing momentum and field advantage to Michigan’s offensive effort.
Michigan entered the fourth quarter up 14-6, but the game wasn’t over yet. Penn State worked its way down the field to get its first and only touchdown of the game within the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. The Nittany Lions got their 2-point conversion attempt, tying the game at 14-14. The Wolverines fumbled on their next drive directly after, which set the Nittany Lions up for another field goal. Michigan got the ball back with around five minutes left in the game.
The turning point of the game this week goes out to Michigan’s tight end Erick All and his late fourth quarter touchdown. When the Wolverines were down three points with five minutes left, they marched down the field to get into Penn State territory. Cade McNamara connected with All, who took off for 47 yards for the touchdown. Jake Moody was good for the extra point attempt and the Wolverines took the 21-17 lead late in the fourth quarter.
After forcing a turnover on downs, Michigan kneeled out its final drive and collected its first win in Happy Valley since 2015.
Michigan’s defense did it’s part to keep Michigan in this game, mostly notably from David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson. Combined, they got to Clifford five times, putting them at 10 sacks each on the season. The Wolverine defense collected seven sacks and a forced fumble to do their part in ensuring Michigan’s win.
This game wasn’t perfect and there were a lot of mistakes that could have stalled out the Wolverines. In an almost shocking fashion, they maintained composure and relied on their talents and hunger to get out of Beaver Stadium with a win.
They continue their redemption season with their goals still very much in sight. The Wolverines head to Maryland next week for their final road game of the season.