The narrative that the Michigan Wolverines haven’t beaten anybody is now moot. On Saturday, the Maize and blue went toe-to-toe with the No. 10 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in the Big House. They’d end the day with a lopsided win that could have been even worse for the visitors.
The first half started off unbelievably well for the Wolverines. Through the first quarter and a half, Michigan had 13 first downs to Penn State’s 1. They had outgained the Nittany Lions 195 to 9. And, they had 17 and a half minutes of possessions in 21 minutes of game time. Michigan was absolutely dominant and it looked like this one would be a blowout.
The problem was that it hadn’t converted to points. Penn State held the Wolverines in the redzone three times in the first half, all resulting in field goals.
Two big mistakes put Penn State briefly in the lead. The first was the Michigan defense completely forgetting Sean Clifford could keep a handoff as he ran for 62 yards down to the goal line.
The next drive, McCarthy threw an unfathomable interception. The ball was deflected off on defender, bounced of a second player’s helmet, and was caught by Curtis Jacobs who returned it 47 yards for a pick six. Penn State had only one first down in the game, but led 14-13.
Thankfully, Michigan was capable of overcoming those mistakes and pulled away in a big way in the second half.
Blake Corum continued his Heisman campaign by being the best player on the field yet again. He had finished with 28 carries for 166 yards and two touchdowns. A large chunk of that came in the first half where his 21 touches helped Michigan overcome those mistakes.
In total, Michigan ran for 168 first half yards against a PSU defense that has allowed under 80 rushing per game up to this point.
That dominance only continued in the second half. This time it was Donovan Edwards breaking free for a 67-yard touchdown.
Edwards actually wound up leading the team in rushing yards with 173 and two touchdowns on 16 attempts. It was a day of career highs for the sophomore back.
Penn State failed on a 4th down conversion. The very next offensive play Corum got loose for a 60+ yard touchdown of his own:
Penn State entered today with the 5th-ranked rushing defense, allowing under 80 YPG.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 15, 2022
Michigan had 304 rushing yards in 2.5 quarters. pic.twitter.com/r7cDpv37un
At the final whistle, Michigan had piled on 418 yards rushing on the No. 5 rushing defense in the country. It comes in a week where they were knocked out of the College Football Playoff picture after a few rocky wins against Iowa and Indiana.
Now, there is no question they are one of the best teams in the country for a second consecutive season. It was the statement win against a top team that everyone was waiting for. The final from Ann Arbor was 41-17.