Penn State Blown Out 42-7 By Michigan At The Big House

No. 14 Penn State (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten) visited the Big House in Ann Arbor to take on No. 5 Michigan (8-1, 6-0 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon.

Michigan controlled the game from start to finish as the Nittany Lions were plagued by self-inflicted wounds and a complete inability to get anything going on offense. Despite solid play from the defense, Michigan’s time-of-possession simply wore down Brent Pry’s group.

How It Happened

Penn State received the opening kick, and McSorley got going early. He found Freiermuth for a 25-yard gain on the first play of the game. After that big play, however, Michigan sacked McSorley twice and Gillikin was forced to punt. Michigan would drive 76 yards behind a 50-yard rush from Higdon to take a 7-0 lead with 8:12 remaining in the first quarter. 

At the end of the first quarter, Penn State had just 40 total yards, picking up 35 through the air and 5 on the ground. Michigan seemed to dictate the first quarter with a strong rushing attack and a stingy defense.

Shea Patterson found Nico Collins for a 47-yard gain on the first play of the second quarter. Luckily, the Nittany Lion defense stood strong in their own territory. Nick Scott blocked the ensuing field goal attempt and Garrett Taylor returned the ball for what would have been a touchdown, but an illegal block brought the ball back. McSorley fumbled a handoff on Penn State’s drive, giving the Michigan offense another shot.

The Wolverines would take advantage, scoring a touchdown on a pass to Peoples-Jones to give the home squad a 14-0 lead. 

On the final Penn State drive of the half, McSorley missed a wide-open DeAndre Thompkins for what would’ve been an easy touchdown. McSorley was sacked on the next play and the Nittany Lions had to punt the ball away. Penn State would post a goose-egg in the first half for the first time since its last trip to Michigan in 2016.

Michigan would strike again with 56 seconds remaining in the third quarter. To cap off a 90-yard drive taking over 7 minutes, Patterson found Gentry for a pass over the middle for a score. On the next drive, Tommy Stevens was picked off and the interception was returned for a touchdown to give Michigan a 28-0 lead with 9 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Michigan kept pouring it on, as Higdon scored with 9:49 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Michigan a 35-0 lead after another solid drive. Trace McSorley would throw an interception on the first play of the following drive, giving Michigan the ball at the Penn State 12-yard line. The Wolverines would make it 42-0 after yet another touchdown.

Penn State got one back behind a Tommy Stevens rushing touchdown, but it was far too little, far too late. The Nittany Lions would ultimately fall 42-7.

Player of the Game

Karan Higdon | Senior | Running Back

Higdon had a big game on the ground, rushing for 132 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. The Wolverines relied on him to be the workhorse of the offense, and he did a very good job of exactly that.

What’s Next

Penn State will return to Happy Valley to take on Wisconsin on Saturday, November 10.

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About the Author

Derek Bannister

Derek is a senior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected].

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