FIrst Impressions: Michigan 20 Penn St 0

WTKA's Steve Clarke gives his first impressions of the Michigan shutout

Coach Lloyd Carr warned us that the Wolverines can't let up this week. It is hard not to when most people in the media keep talking about how lousy Penn State is this year. Michigan did not play a full sixty minutes of football, but the Nittany Lions couldn't even play five minutes.

In the first half, Michigan made plays; however, they also made mistakes. Penn State did the same thing, but they never could put an entire drive together and therefore, could not score. John Navarre was not very accurate, and he was taking a lot of sacks. Panic stricken Wolverines were thinking of UCLA, Illinois, and Washington. The first four times the Wolverines were in the red zone or just outside the Penn St. 20 yard line, they scored just six points. Penn State had some chances too, but couldn't capitalize. Ultimately, Michigan woke up from their nap, the Nittany Lions did not.

Michigan used the final two minutes of the half by marching down the field and scoring their first touchdown. Marquise Walker made a great grab. The drive put the wind back in Michigan's sails. The first possesion of the 2nd half took the wind out Penn State's.

John Navarre's 53 yard touchdown pass to Ronald Bellamy looked easy. Navarre's pass gave him and the team confidence. It also restored our faith in Navarre. From there, Michigan cruised and the Wolverine faithful relaxed.

Paterno notes:

It seems everytime Penn State loses Paterno sets some sort of personal record. Some games it's the worst home loss or road loss, or longest this and shortest that. Tonight, it was Paterno's first home shutout. Michigan State was the last to turn the trick in 1965.

Suddenly, Indiana doesn't look so beatable. Many thought Nov. 17th would be the day Paterno would share or beat Bear Bryant's record. IU beat Wisconsin 63-32. It was the most points scored against the Badgers since 1890.

Michigan notes:

Jermainze Gonzalez tried to run a fake field goal for a touchdown. It failed, but it brings about three points: (1)Michigan tried to shake it's conservative image; (2)the play was on the same side of the field and hash mark that Penn State successfully executed a fake field goal winning the game for the Nittany Lions in 1995; (3)Gonzalez was called down before he stretched the football over the endzone. It's amazing the number of times a ball carrier's knees hit the turf well before the ball crosses the goal line. Many referees don't see the bounce, and call it a touchdown. If Gonzalez, or any other player, ran that play on any other down, dollars to donuts, the ref's arms are straight up in the air.

Dan Rumishek's game can't be ingnored. He had three sacks and a pass broken up. Michigan is starting to pressure on the quarterback without using blitzes. The Wolverines had 12 tackles for a loss.

Julius Curry didn't play in this game. Coach Carr says he hopes that Curry will be available next week against undefeated Purdue. Curry didn't play much of the fourth quarter in last week's versus Illinois.

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