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Looking Back At Tom Brady’s Career Against Penn State

Now that NFL legend Tom Brady has officially announced his retirement, we felt it would be appropriate to look back on how he played against Penn State during his college days as a Michigan Wolverine.

Before working with the likes of Penn Staters like Chris Hogan and Chris Godwin, Brady had a much more adversarial relationship with the Nittany Lions. While playing in Ann Arbor from 1996 to 1999, Brady racked up two wins over the Nittany Lions.

November 7, 1998

Brady’s first appearance against Penn State came on November 7, 1998, in Ann Arbor. No. 9 Penn State had suffered just one loss so far and hoped to continue its ongoing winning streak. Michigan, on the other hand, had recovered after a rough two-game skid to begin the season and was ranked No. 22. 

It was Brady’s first year as a starter in head coach Lloyd Carr’s program, which had won the national championship at the end of the previous season. Unfortunately, Michigan blanked the Nittany Lions 27-0.

Brady had a decent day but was far from terrific. He completed 17 of his 30 passes for 224 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. His two scoring passes were caught by future NFL players Aaron Shea and Tai Streets.

November 13, 1999

The following November, it was Michigan’s turn to head to Happy Valley. 

Back then, Penn State was ranked No. 6 coming off a loss against Minnesota. No. 16 Michigan looked better than it had previously, as the Wolverines had only two losses to that point. 

This time, there was no blowout. Both teams exchanged leads, although the Nittany Lions gained a 10-point advantage deep in the fourth quarter. Then, however, Brady did what he’s done so many times in his illustrious career and guided his team to a comeback.

The Wolverines scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. The first came on a five-yard quarterback scramble from Brady as the future seven-time Super Bowl champion stretched into the end zone.

An 11-yard touchdown pass in the final two minutes of the game led Brady and his teammates to a 31-27 comeback victory.

Until the fourth quarter, Brady looked remarkably beatable, making the comeback even more disappointing for the Penn State faithful. Brady finished the game throwing for two touchdowns, 259 yards, and three interceptions.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a freshman majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which can be both difficult and rewarding. If you want to debate anything about sports with him, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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