Royster Leaps Warner, Lions Upset Wolverines
The Nittany Lions returned to .500 (in the Big Ten) Saturday evening after downing the Michigan Wolverines in front of 108,539 screaming Beaver Stadium fans 41-31. Meanwhile, fifth-year senior Evan Royster rushed his way into Penn State lore, becoming Penn State’s all-time leading rusher.
Royster took the bulk of the offense’s load, compiling 151 rushing yards and two first quarter touchdowns. It gave the Nittany Lions an early lead, and they never looked back.
Perhaps the biggest story of the evening, though, was the coach’s decision to play a former walk-on over previous starting quarterback Rob Bolden, who suffered a concussion last week in Minnesota.
Matt McGloin, a Scranton native, took control of an otherwise struggling offense and picked apart the Wolverine defensive secondary all game long. McGloin scored his first ’6′ on a 1-yd QB-sneak. Then just over two minutes later, the former walk-on hit Graham Zug for a 20-yard pitch and catch for a touchdown.
It wasn’t a day of all fun and games, though. Penn State’s defense struggled mightily against Michigan’s biggest threat, Denard Robinson. Playing a role in each of Michigan’s touchdowns, Robinson slashed through the Penn State defense to amass 191 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He added one more through the air, along with 190 yards of passing offense.
After the game, each player recognized the potency Robinson brings to the field and captain Ollie Ogbu even had words similar to the infamous Dennis Green meltdown of 2006. This time it was on a positive note.
“They were who they thought they were,” said Ogbu, who was referring to Robinson and the rest of the Wolverine offense.
Coach Paterno had similar things to say and even offered a rare praise to his players.
“I thought the whole team played well,” said the 83-year-old Paterno. “We never had a turnover, we never fumbled. We did a lot of good things and I think Matt [McGloin] had a lot to do with it. But overall, it really was a good football game”