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Handing out game balls for Michigan’s thrilling victory against Penn State

You get a game ball, you get a game ball, you get game ball!

NCAA Football: Michigan at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines entered this matchup with Penn State having lost two straight to the Nittany Lions and hadn’t won in Happy Valley since 2015.

While Penn State’s Big Ten conference title hopes had already been dashed, it hoped to play spoiler to the Wolverines who could not afford a second conference loss.

The game was a slugfest with each team landing haymakers and the momentum shifting several times throughout. After a late strip sack and go-ahead field goal for Penn State with just under six minutes remaining, previous Michigan teams would have folded and lost another big game in November.

The fan base would have suffered another heartbreaker, and head coach Jim Harbaugh would have failed again when it mattered the most.

But not this time.

The offense responded with a scoring drive, capped off by a 47-yard touchdown from quarterback Cade McNamara to tight end Erick All. The defense forced a turnover on downs and running back Hassan Haskins salted it away on the ground.

Ballgame, Michigan 21-17.

Harabugh summed it up best after the game: “How ‘bout those Wolverines?”

Now, let’s hand out some game balls.

Hassan Haskins (AGAIN)

Next week, just go ahead and give the senior a game ball before the opening kick. Running back Hassan Haskins finished with 31 carries for 156 yards and caught five passes for 45 yards. What more needs to be said about the St. Louis native?

Haskins is the most reliable running back at Michigan since his position coach Mike Hart played for the Wolverines. Without his lightning counterpart Blake Corum, the rest of the Michigan team contributed -12 yards on the ground.

Haskins is a workhorse of the highest order and will likely break 1,000 yards on the season next week against Maryland.

Erick All

Welcome back, Mr. All.

After missing last week’s game against Indiana, the junior tight end caught four passes for 64 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to seize victory for the Wolverines.

All is by far the most improved offensive player for Michigan this season and is clearly quarterback McNamara’s favorite and most reliable target.

Next time, Ellis Brooks, don’t poke the bear.

Roman Wilson

To quote the immortal Tom Brady, “Two tuddies?!”

Sophomore wide receiver Roman Wilson had three catches for 31 yards in this contest, two of which were for touchdowns. Wilson — who suffered a wrist injury several weeks ago — played against Penn State with a cast on his left forearm.

Allow me to reiterate, a wide receiver had two touchdown receptions with a cast on his left arm.

With wide receiver Andrel Anthony still limited due to injury, Wilson stepped up in a big way against the Nittany Lions securing first two scores of the season.

David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson

The best pass rushing duo in the history of Michigan football turned in a monstrous performance on Saturday. Hutch and Ojabo combined for: five sacks, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

Both players have 10 sacks on the season and each have a chance to break the single-season record of 12 at Michigan. However, Hutchinson is chasing more than just program pride in these final two games.

His father Chris Hutchinson had 11 sacks in the 1992 season. Aidan has two games with to secure a household record that will never be broken. If he secures 1.5 against Maryland, Thanksgiving should be fun at the Hutchinson household.

Honorable Mention

Take your pick: McNamara, linebacker Junior Colson, cornerback D.J. Turner, punter Brad Robbins, offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, the list goes on and on.

It took a village to win this one and a village of game-ball worthy players showed up in Happy Valley.