MICH: Report Card

Who made the grade and who came up short on Penn State's easy win over the Wolverines at Michigan Stadium Saturday?

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The weather was gloomy, but the Nittany Lions were not. Not after their 35-10 rout of Michigan.

Here are the grades from Penn State's second consecutive lopsided victory over the Wolverines.

OVERALL: A complete effort. The offense showed resilience, responding to Michigan's strong opening drive with an even better drive of its own. The defense pounded a Michigan team that was ranked ninth in the country in scoring, and the special teams had a couple of big moments to go along with one big glitch.
Grade: A

OFFENSE: What's not to like? Daryll Clark played one of the best games of his career, Andrew Quarless made good on his big-play potential, Evan Royster had a 100-yard game and Graham Zug's three touchdowns were the most for him in a game since his junior year in high school. And they did it all in inhospitable field conditions that wreaked havoc with their opponents' offense.
Grade: A

DEFENSE: The Nittany Lions weren't quite ready for Michigan's go-go pace at the beginning of the game, but they adjusted in a hurry. Penn State allowed 70 yards on Michigan's first drive and 180 the rest of the game. Michigan was 3 of 15 on third down and held the ball for only 25 minutes, the second week in a row Penn State enjoyed a big edge in time-of-possession. Bonus points for coming up with four turnovers.
Grade: A

SPECIAL TEAMS: Another blocked punt -- the second of the season -- gives pause. But Chaz Powell's 53-yard return at the start of the second half led to a Zug touchdown. And Collin Wagner was good on all five of his attempts -- three PATs and two field goals.
Grade: B

COACHING: No one can accuse the Lions of playing not to lose this time. The staff had gotten a lot of flak for its conservative game plans in previous visits to Ann Arbor, but the coaches clearly have a lot of faith in Clark and weren't afraid to let him attack the Michigan secondary aggressively.
Grade: A

INTANGIBLES: Penn State evidently wasn't visited by the ghosts of losses past. The team's checkered history at Michigan Stadium -- five losses in seven games including the previous five in a row, didn't seem to weigh heavily on the minds of anyone, before, during or after the game.
Grade: A

OTHER GUY: Two fumbles. Two interceptions. A safety. A roughing-the-kicker penalty. Five sacks allowed. A bunch of dropped passes. Michigan played its worst game of the year Saturday and deserved its fate.
Grade: D

OFFICIALS: The crew didn't throw its first flag until halfway through the second quarter and only called 10 penalties. It didn't have any calls overturned, either.
Grade: A

CROWD: Even under the best of circumstances, Michigan's crowd doesn't make as much noise as you'd expect, given the seating capacity of the Big House (106,201). And Saturday's game was hardly the best of circumstances, at least from a maize-and-blue perspective. But it's hard to find fault with a school that has had at least 100,000 fans for every home game since 1975.
Grade: B

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