MICH: Game Breakdown

The good, the bad and the ugly from Penn State's 17-10 loss to Michigan Saturday night, a game where the Wolverines defensive linemen spent as much time in the Nittany Lion backfield as the PSU running backs.

MAN OF THE HOUR: Michigan quarterback Chad Henne was an efficient 15 of 30 for 196 yards and one score. As importantly, he didn't make the key mistake that would have allowed the Nittany Lion defense to swing momentum in the game.

TURNING POINT: Penn State had a chance to make things very interesting with a long drive just before the half. But it stalled in the red zone -- again -- and the Lions had to settle for a field goal to trail 10-3.

SOLID STRATEGY: Michigan didn't spend a lot of time blitzing in this game because it didn't have to. The Wolverines' four-man defensive front dominated Penn State offensive line, helping Michigan generate seven sacks and several hard hits on QB Anthony Morelli, one of which knocked him from the game with a concussion in the third quarter.

NUMBERS GAME: Penn State had minus-14 yards rushing, thanks in large part to Michigan's seven sacks for minus-49 yards. By far the worst showing by the Nittany Lion offensive line this season.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE: True freshman defensive tackle Phillip Taylor saw his first action of the season in the second quarter. He was on the field for two plays and was decked by Michigan veteran Jake Long on the second. Taylor also played in the second half but did not make a tackle in the game.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: A.J. Wallace continued to shine on kickoff returns, including a 46-yarder to open the game. But Penn State did not capitalize on the good field position he provided.

WHAT'S UP WITH: Penn State's poor tackling in this game? The worst may have been corner Tony Davis trying to strip the ball from Hart late in the third quarter. Only trouble was Hart was rumbling toward the end zone at the time. Hart should have been tackled at the 6 but instead made it to the 1-yard line. He scored on the next play.

HIT SQUAD: Donnie Johnson wiped out Steve Breaston when the latter fielded a punt on the final play of the first quarter. Some how, Breaston held on. We would have gone with a hit on the PSU QBs but they were too numerous to signal out just one.

HEADS-UP: Third-team QB Paul Cianciolo — in the game because Morelli and backup Darryl Clark were both injured — dinked a short pass to Tony Hunt in the fourth quarter. Hunt found room and sprinted for a 43-yard TD to make it 17-10 and give the Lions a bit of hope.

HIDDEN HERO: Michigan receiver Adrian Arrington picked up the slack for injured star Mario Manningham, catching five passes for 83 yards and a TD.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Linebacker Sean Lee had a team-high nine tackles for the Lions.

DID YOU NOTICE?

• DE Jim Shaw saw action after missing the Minnesota game with a knee injury. He did not make a tackle.

• PSU rotated Tony Davis, Wallace and Lydell Sargeant at the corner spot opposite Justin King.

• There were upward of 60 recruits at the game. The biggest surprise was cornerback/running back Mason Robinson of Somerville, N.J.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: Will Penn State, loser of eight straight to Michigan, ever beat the Wolverines?

-30-


Fight On State Top Stories