THE HIGH FIVE
What's That Sound?: That thumping sound you heard in the stadium wasn't the Beaver Stadium sound system. It was the heart of this team. Down 17-7, most fans were deflated and wondering how the Lions could possibly lose to Michigan again. But you have to give the PSU players and coaches credit for digging deep, fighting back and closing the deal.
Ground Assault: Evan Royster is running his way legendary status among PSU fans. This week he had a stellar 174 yards on a mere 18 carries (9.7 YPC). He is close to eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark with 906 yards through eight games.
Second Effort: Despite a rough first quarter and a half (see below), Tom Bradley and Larry Johnson managed guide the Lion defense through the rough water. The staff made some impressive adjustments after the first three U-M drives frustrated PSU fans. In fact, in their final 10 drives, the Lions forced eight three-an-outs.
Kick It: Hats off to Kevin Kelly, who went three for four on field goals and five for five on PAT attempts. He also quietly became the all-time Big Ten leader for points scored by a kicker.
Home Sweet Home: A tip of the hat to the crowd. So, many teams claim that their crowds gives them a "12th man" advantage. That's great. But PSU's home crowd must give it at least a three-man advantage in key situations. It's impressive to see the crowd in action when needed.
THE LOW FIVE
Gas is STILL on the Right: Once again PSU's high-octane offense took a while to get started, finally turning it on in the second half after sputtering in the first.
Just a Tad High: Chalk it up to nerves, excitement, or whatever, but Penn State got into a big hole from the first snap with a 16-yard loss after A.Q. Shipley tossed it way over Daryll Clark's head. Luckily the team was eventually able to overcome it. But if Clark doesn't get his diving recovery, this could have been a much different game from the outset. Those sort of mental lapses need to disappear when the team heads to Columbus this week.
It's Stuck: Michigan deserves a lot of credit for marching down on its first three drives and putting 17 points on the board. Surprisingly, PSU's defense had a tough time defending Steven Threet and Brandon Minor, who had U-M's two touchdowns. Bradley's boys managed to finally adjust and shut down the Wolverine attack, but it was surprising that it took a big portion of the first half to do so.
Sync Sunk: The first half saw early consistent lapses by the PSU defense, allowing three U-M scoring drives. However, once the defense started pitching three-and-outs in the second quarter, the offense got out of sync with two three-and-outs of its own and a missed field goal.
That Didn't Help: The featured twirler drops a baton, the drum major misses the flip. Michigan is not the game to tempt fate.
FightOnState.com is THE source for exclusive, inside coverage of Penn State football.