No. 2 Penn State Dominates No. 19 Michigan

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Over the past two season, Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley have become the face of the Penn State football team.

(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Nothing changed Saturday night in the Nittany Lions first home game ranked in the Top Five against another ranked opponent, as Barkley and McSorley both scored three times to lead No. 2 Penn State to a dominating, 42-13, win over No. 19 Michigan.

Game Highlights

Barkley set the tone early going 69 yards on a direct snap 43 seconds into the game to give Penn State (7-0 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) an early 7-0 lead, and thanks to a 15-yard Barkley run four minutes later, Penn State led 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.

But despite the early success, the drive of the game for Penn State might have been the final drive of the first half after Michigan had rallied to within one, 14-13, on a 6-yard Ty Isaac touchdown run with 1:45 to play in the half silencing the raucous White Out Night crowd.

Penn State, though, responded in a big way needing just 52 seconds to go 75 yards to push the lead back to eight, 21-13, on a 3-yard McSorley run.

Passes of 12 yards to Juwan Johnson and 36 yards to DaeSean Hamilton, who had a great night with six catches for 115 yards, moved the ball from the Penn State 25 to the Michigan 27. Barkley then netted seven yards on two carries setting up a third-and-3 from the Wolverines 20-yard line, and Mike Gesicki outjumped Hudson along the sideline for a 17-yard gain to the three setting up McSorley’s first rushing touchdown of the night.

Up 21-13 at halftime, Penn State dominated the second half outgained Michigan 209 to 109 and outscoring the Wolverines 21-0 thanks to touchdown runs of 13 and 9 yards from McSorley and a 42-yard McSorley to Barkley scoring pass that the junior running back bobbled, tipped to himself and caught after running right past the Michigan defender trying to cover him.

The drive of the half was the opening drive for Penn State when it went 80 yards and nine plays following a Michigan punt to start the half ending in the 13-yard McSorley scoring run.

The blowout looked like it was going to happen earlier than it did when Penn State, leading 14-0, drove to the Michigan 22-yard line before some miscommunication between McSorely and Gesicki led to a McSorley pass being thrown right to Michigan’s David Long, who returned the interception to the Michigan 45.

The Wolverines (5-2, 2-2), who had a pair of three-and-outs to start the game then drove to the Penn State 1-yard line where it took them three cracks to score, but score they did on a fourth-down pitch to Karan Higdon that cut the Penn State lead to 14-6 following the first missed extra point of Quinn Nordin’s career to the delight of the Penn State crown, as Nordin had originally committed to Penn State before flipping to Michigan.

The tide seemed to continue to turn on the ensuing kickoff when Barkley was bottled up at the 15-yard line, and then McSorley was sacked before Barkley was thrown for a loss.

Penn State seemed to catch a break when Khaleke Hudson dropped an interception in the end zone of a McSorley screen pass, but Michigan answered with an 8-play, 67-yard drive that ended in a 6-yard Isaac touchdown run to make it

Penn State outgained Michigan 506-269 on the night with the Nittany Lions offense making a mockery of a Wolverines defense that came into the game ranked third in the Big Ten and eighth in the nation in scoring defense, yielding 14.7 points per game. The 42 points were the most given up by Michigan since Ohio State scored 42 on it Nov. 29, 2014, and marked just the second time since the start of the 2014 season that the Wolverines have given up 42 or more in a game.

Barkley finished the night with 161 yards of total offense including 108 on the ground on 15 carries and 53 through the air on three catches. McSorley ran for an additional 76 yards on 11 carries and was 17 of 26 passing for 282 yards.

Higdon led Michigan’s ground game with 49 yards rushing wish John O’Korn going 16 of 28 for 166 yards but also being sacked seven times.

Penn State continues its stretch of tough games when it goes to No. 6 Ohio State next week before traveling to No. 18 Michigan State the week after. Ohio State was off this week while Michigan State beat Indiana, 17-9.

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