Michigan vs. Penn State was one of the most anticipated games on Saturday, but that didn’t mean the final score was close.
Michigan pounded out 418 yards rushing and outscored Penn State 25-3 in the second half to beat the Nittany Lions 41-17.
“Like coach (Jim) Harbaugh said in the locker room, ‘It was a butt-kicking in every which way a butt could be kicked,’” Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy said after the game. “Being able to do it in the fashion that we did was just awesome to see.”
Heading into halftime the game was tight, with Michigan holding a small 16-14 lead. However, before each team made it into their respective locker room words were exchanged between Michigan and Penn State in the tunnel.
Some halftime tunnel shenanigans happening. pic.twitter.com/FwxgXdO7jj— Isaiah Hole (@isaiahhole) October 15, 2022
Michigan edge-rusher Mike Morris said that Penn State had “Twitter fingers” and were talking on social media about the Wolverines, something the team remembered once Saturday rolled around.
“How they were acting emotionally out there going into the half and how they were emotionally all game, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was them starting it — and we just finished it,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy described how it feels to come out victorious in the manner they did. Michigan was able to physically dominate Penn State on both sides of the ball. In short, Michigan humbled the Nittany Lions and gave them a reality check.
“It’s so much fun, ‘cause they were talking and doing all that extra stuff in the tunnel and pregame and all that, being able to shut them up, it’s really that simple,” McCarthy said on the In the Trenches postgame show. “Being able to come back in the second half, and they’re not talking anymore. You can see they’re emotionally just done, their will is gone. There’s no better feeling when you take the life out of a team, and it was great to see.”
As Jim Harbaugh says, football is an emotional game played by emotional people, and it was positive that Michigan was not only able to absorb Penn State’s trash talk but also use it as fuel. Michigan didn’t overreact to the situation, they stuck to the task at hand, which was slowly sucking the spirit out of the Penn State sideline until it withered into a dreadful state.
Michigan is now 7-0 heading into their bye week. Their next game is against Michigan State at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.