Mark Brennan/FOS

Michigan Too Much For Penn State In The Big House

The Wolverines topped the Nittany Lions 49-10 in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan whipped Penn State 49-10 here Saturday. Here is our fast recap of the game.


Penn State could not have opened the game any worse. The Lions had a holding penalty on the kickoff return to start things. Then on the first play from scrimmage, they allowed a sack of QB Trace McSorely AND held (the penalty was declined). McSorley was sacked again on third down, this time at the 1-yard line. Blake Gillikin uncorked a 61-yard punt from his end zone.

Wolverine Jabrill Peppers fumbled the return. But he had enough time to recover and — with the help of two great blocks — brought it back 53 yards. A unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Michigan sideline caused the drive to start at the 24. The Wolverines took seven plays to cover the short field, and took a 7-0 lead on Khalid Hill's one-yard TD plunge.

Penn State responded by moving the ball to the Michigan 42. There, facing a fourth-and-5, the Lions decided to go for it (even after the Wolverines called timeout to adjust). State tried a flanker screen to DeAndre Thompkins that was snuffed out. 

Michigan then went 54 yards in nine plays — converting a pair of third downs along the way — to go up 14-0 on De'Veon Smith's two-yard run.

The Wolverines were driving deep into PSU territory again as the quarter ended.

Score At End Of Quarter: Michigan 14, Penn State 0


Michigan moved inside the 10, but Penn State forced a third-and-4 from the 8. There, LB Brandon Smith broke on a Wilson Speight pass that was intended for Grant Perry. Neither player came up with the ball. But an official called targeting on Smith. Inexplicably, a video review upheld the call, even though Smith was clearing going for the ball and actually hit Perry with his shoulder. Smith was ejected from the game.

Michigan scored on a Speight pass to Devin Asiasi three plays later to make it 21-0.

The game firmly in hand — the Wolverines did not bother punting in the first half — Michigan scored again (13 plays, 80 yards) when Karan Higdon reached the end zone from two yards out shortly before the half.

Score At End Of Half: Michihan 28, Penn State 0


PSU finally forced a punt early in the third quarter, then Saquon Barkley got hot. He had a 33-yard run and later a 19-yard catch to take the ball deep into Michigan territory. But the drive stalled at the Wolverine 2 and the Lions settled for a 21-yard Tyler Davis field goal to break into the scoring column (28-3).

The teams swapped empty possessions before Michigan marched 80 yards in nine plays with Chris Evans doing the honors from three yards out to make it 35-3.

Score At End Of Quarter: 35-5


Penn State showed some heart early in the final quarter. With the help of a couple pass interference penalties, the Lions quickly moved inside the Michigan 10. From there, McSorley hit Chris Godwin on a flanker screen and Godwin bolted into the end zone. The eight-yard TD made it 35-10.

But later in the quarter, Michigan finally showed some big play ability when Higdon popped a 40-yard TD. That made it 42-10.

A McSorley interception gave the Wolverines another short field and this time it took them only four plays to cover 31 yards, with Ty Isaac running it in from the 3 to make it 49-10.

A Miles Sanders' fumble gave the ball back to the Wolverines, who ran out the clock.

Score At End Of Game: 49-10

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