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Twenty Years Later - Remembering Penn State vs. Michigan in 1995

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Mich95_Blog 3.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State and Michigan will collide for the 19th time on Saturday afternoon when the Nittany Lions welcome the Wolverines for a noon kick on ABC.

Today marks a historic day in the history between two of college football's greatest programs.

On Nov. 18, 1995, Penn State and Michigan battled in a game simply known as "The Snow Bowl" inside Beaver Stadium. A surprise storm blanketed 18 inches of snow in Happy Valley just three days before the game. Penn State Athletics paid hundreds of volunteers to feverishly remove the snow from Beaver Stadium before the game.

The snow removal crew included 188 prisoners from area correctional institutions. And despite the significant snowfall and severely limited parking around the stadium, approximately 80,000 spectators filled Beaver Stadium to watch the Hall of Fame head coach Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions and the Wolverines, led by first-year head coach Lloyd Carr.

The play of the game came in the final three minutes of action when the Nittany Lions used a fake field goal attempt to seal a 27-17 victory over the Wolverines. With the clock reading 2:40 to play and the Lions leading 20-17, kicker Brett Conway lined up for a 19-yard field goal attempt. However, the snap went to holder Joe Nastasi, a sophomore wide receiver at the time, who breezed into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown to help clinch the win over the 12th-ranked Wolverines.

"We were going to run it all game, we just didn't know when," Nastasi said to the media after the game. "It felt good, especially against Michigan. I just knew it was going to happen. I wasn't going to be denied on that one."

With snow piles lining the perimeter of the Beaver Stadium playing surface, the Nittany Lions jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter following a 49-yard field goal from Conway and a 13-yard touchdown pass from Wally Richardson to Mike Archie. Michigan answered in the form of a Brian Griese touchdown pass to Amani Toomer, but Conway added a 51-yard field goal to make it a 13-7 game at halftime.

Michigan tallied a field goal to set the score at 13-10 heading into the fourth quarter. Richardson and Bobby Engram connected on a 12-yard scoring play in the fourth quarter to make it a 20-10 game. Michigan pulled to within three on an 18-yard touchdown run from Tim Biakabutuka before Nastasi's clinching touchdown run.

Led by Coach Paterno, the victory marked the second of three-straight for Penn State against Michigan.

The Nittany Lions finished with 438 total yards, including 245 on the ground. Penn State running back Stephen Pitts rushed for a career-high 164 yards on 17 carries. Richardson was 17-for-31 for 193 yards and had two touchdowns through the air. Engram was Penn State's leading receiver with five catches for 87 yards.

In a series marked by close games, the 1995 victory is one of 11 games between the Nittany Lions and Wolverines decided by 10 points or fewer.

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VIDEO: This Week in Penn State Wrestling - Morgan McIntosh (11/18/15)

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following a pair of victories during the opening weekend of the season, the No. 1-ranked Nittany Lion wrestling team travels to California for duals against CSU-Bakersfield and No. 18 Stanford.

GoPSUsports.com caught up with senior and No. 1-ranked Morgan McIntosh (197 Pounds) leading up to the trip. McIntosh is a California native hailing from Santa Ana and is thrilled to be heading back to his home state for competition.

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By ANNA PITINGOLO, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
University Park, PA - The Lady Lions got out to a strong and fast start as they opened the season with two wins over the weekend. But the squad will get their first true test of the young season when they take their 2-0 record on the road to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Lady Volunteers on Wednesday.

With the Lady Volunteers currently ranked in the top five nationally, head coach Coquese Washington is looking forward to the opportunity that her team has in front of them. With the chance to play against a team that will push them to play their best, Washington hopes her team enjoys the moment.

"I think it's a lot of fun to have these kind of games, these kind of opportunities, to come and to play at Tennessee, to play some of the teams we've played over the past few years," Washington said. "That's the fun part about playing this game; to go to Knoxville and have that opportunity, it's just a lot of fun and I know our kids are excited about it."

The last time the Lady Lions faced Tennessee was in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2003 NCAA Tournament, when Tennessee won 86-58. So while this will be the first time anyone on the team will be facing the Lady Volunteers, thanks to AAU basketball it won't be the first time many of the players will be facing each other on the court. Washington hopes that this familiarity will help eliminate any nerves her players may have before playing against a ranked opponent.

"They know each other [from] AAU and travel basketball, they've played against each other before, so they're familiar," Washington said. "They know each other, they text each other, so it's much different than it was a few years ago when you didn't know people. These kids have played against each other so there's a little bit of a familiarity there and it's just another game."

With the season still only being in its opening week, Washington and her staff don't have a lot of current game footage to go over and analyze leading into Wednesday's contest. But even with limited game tape, Washington knows that Tennessee will be a challenge on all fronts.

"Tennessee is really talented, they're really deep and they're a very athletic team in all positions," Washington said. "They've got good size, good speed, good athleticism, and they shoot the ball well so it's just a very talented team and they have pretty balanced scoring. Those kinds of things present challenges when you have a talented team, a deep team, and they get contributions from a number of people. So it's not just one person you look at and go 'oh, she's the key'; it's a full team effort with them."

Washington has high expectations for her team, namely being more aggressive and committing less turnovers, but the bottom line for her is to see them compete and play to the best of their ability. And playing against a team such as the Lady Volunteers, Washington is using this game as a gauge as to how Penn State will need to improve come tournament time.

"I just want to see us compete; I want to see us be able to execute the things that we're capable of executing," Washington said. "It's a great measuring stick for us early in the season to see where we need to be in March."

Penn State and Tennessee are set to meet Wednesday at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Tip is set for 8 p.m. ET.

Men's Hoops Gameday 2015-16 - Penn State vs. DePaul

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live coverage of the 2015-16 Nittany Lion basketball season. Tonight, Penn State hosts DePaul inside the Bryce Jordan Center.

Live Blog 2015-16 Men's Hoops Gameday - Penn State vs. DePaul

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2015 Tuesday Press Conference Roundup - Michigan Week

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11494693.jpegVIDEO: Michigan Week Player Q&A | Transcripts - James Franklin | Players

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following a bye week, head coach James Franklin addressed the media on Tuesday afternoon to preview Penn State's home finale against Michigan.

The Nittany Lions (7-3, 4-2) will meet the Wolverines (8-2, 5-1) on Saturday at 12 p.m. (ABC) inside Beaver Stadium. Franklin reviewed Penn State's off week and looked ahead to the Senior Day clash against Michigan.

The 2015 senior class may be small in number (19 players will be recognized on Saturday prior to kickoff), but this is a group of Penn State student-athletes who have demonstrated unrivaled commitment and passion for the University and the football program.

It's a group that has seen more during the past four or five years on campus than most programs see in several decades. The seniors have forged a bond with one another and the football program that has truly made the situation incredibly unique.

"You just think about everything that these guys have been through, and they're kind of the glue," said Franklin. "They're the glue that kept this program together. They're the glue and the foundation that stood strong when Penn State needed them the most."

No group is more deserving than a proper sendoff on Saturday. The Senior Day ceremony is always a special occasion, but the Penn State fans should treat this day a little different than most. Without this senior class, it's hard to envision where the program might be right now.

"For us to go into that stadium with a sellout on Senior Day and it to be a whiteout and for this community and our students and our fans and the alumni to come together more than anything to support these young men and let them know how much we mean to them, how much they mean to us, I think is important," said Franklin.

On the field, the Lions will be well rested when they take the field for Saturday's contest against Michigan. The team practiced on an abbreviated schedule during the bye week to ensure the group could get proper rest to remain as fresh as possible for the final two games of the regular season.

The bye week was a productive one, though. The Lions implemented corrections following the last outing and began looking forward to preparing for Michigan. The players had an opportunity to go home over the weekend, and most of the squad spent Saturday watching Michigan play Indiana.

"I think the fact that the players were able to watch Indiana play Michigan and it went to overtime, that was a heck of a game," said Franklin. "That was a heck of a game as a fan of football to watch. And then once we got all that information, we were able to finalize our game plans. We're probably a little bit more ahead than obviously in a normal week."

Franklin and the Nittany Lions know what type of challenge Saturday's matchup will be. The Wolverines rank among the nation's top defensive units in numerous statistical categories, and they have been consistent throughout the season. Offensively, the Wolverines have been red-hot of late. Michigan also boasts one of the most experienced teams in the country with 18 senior starters.

"They're big and physical on both fronts. I think some of those numbers are a little bit skewed whenever you're playing an overtime game. It skews the numbers a little bit," said Franklin. "But, yeah, they are playing with a lot more confidence right now. They're much more explosive on offense. And they're doing a nice job."

The Nittany Lions will have the advantage of playing in the confines of home. Like Franklin noted on Tuesday, the crowd has been a huge factor in Penn State starting the season 6-0 at home. The Lions need another standout crowd in what should be a terrific Penn State White Out atmosphere on Saturday afternoon.

"It's going to be a tremendous challenge," Franklin said. "There's no doubt about it. But I'm looking forward to being at home, where we've played pretty good, and we're gaining confidence with those things as well. So should be a great college game. It should be a great college atmosphere. Looking forward to it."

The Nittany Lions will practice in shells on Tuesday and Wednesday before the final game week session on Thursday. Saturday's game inside Beaver Stadium will kick at 12 p.m. with a national telecast on ABC.

Press Conference Notes:
- Coach Franklin on what stands out about the senior class.

I think probably one of the things that jumps out to me as much as anything is how our older players, our juniors and seniors, have embraced the younger guys and helped them. A lot of times, it may be at a same position where the younger guy may be playing ahead of them, and that's not always the case. That's not always the case.

"Our guys really have that spirit of doing what's best for Penn State and doing what's best for the program as well as, kind of like we talk about all the time, their spirit of service, serving others. I think that kind of trickles down into our program as well. What our guys are doing in the community, what they do for each other, those go hand in hand. I'm really proud of them."

- Seniors Anthony Zettel and Matt Baney were in attendance at Thursday's press conference and reflected upon their time at Penn State. Additionally, each guy selected his favorite Penn State moment.

"For a particular moment, it was probably the interception, pick six versus Ohio State, how it just changed the game," Zettel said "I think just from an overall team win, when we went to Wisconsin - no. Probably the four overtime against Michigan. That was the best moment."

"I would say my favorite moment was probably the Michigan game in (Coach) O'Brien's last year," Baney said. "It was an incredible season. We had a lot of games that kind of went like that, but watching that comeback, and the sideline never had a doubt that we were going to win that game. Everyone was behind each other 100 percent. That was a special time for me and for the rest of our teammates."

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VIDEO: Michigan Week Player Q&As

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - GoPSUsports.com talks with senior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel, senior linebacker Matt Baney and junior quarterback Christian Hackenberg during Michigan week.

Anthony Zettel

Matt Baney

Christian Hackenberg

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Nittany Lions Eager to Get Back to Work vs. DePaul

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Thanks to a balanced attack and consistent defensive effort, the Nittany Lion basketball team christened the 2015-16 with a victory on Saturday afternoon.

The season-opening win over VMI kick-started a span of four games in 11 days for the Lions. Penn State returns home on Tuesday at 5 p.m. (ESPNU) for a matchup against DePaul as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Big Ten and BIG EAST announced a series of eight games between the two conferences stretching between Nov. 17-20. The first Penn State-DePaul matchup since 1984-85 will also be part of Tuesday's College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon.

"We have to continue to get better," head coach Patrick Chambers said. "We have to commit to whatever defense we are playing. We have to do a better job of rebounding. DePaul is a very good rebounding team. That's going to challenge us."

The Nittany Lions turned up the wick defensively in the early stages of the second half of Saturday's season-opener. Penn State held VMI to just four points in the first 11 minutes of game time in the second half, something Coach Chambers was pleased to see.

On offense, the Lions had three players reach double-figures - Shep Garner, Payton Banks and Brandon Taylor - on a day where Penn State tallied 30 of its 62 points in the paint. The next step for the Nittany Lions on the offensive end of the floor is finding a way to produce more assists. Chambers wants to see more guys make the "extra" pass to get great looks on a consistent basis.

"On offense, I thought we could have shared the ball a little more," Chambers said. "We passed up some great looks. We had good looks, but passed up on some better ones. We are going to continue to work on those things to better prepare us for the Big Ten."

In the offseason, Chambers talked at great length about Penn State's ability to play inside-out this season. Saturday's opener was living proof of the type of balance and post play the Nittany Lions hope to achieve moving forward. However, Tuesday's matchup against DePaul will be an early challenge for the Lions in the paint. DePaul's front line stands at 6-foot-6, 6-foot-9 and 6-foot-11.

"They had a come-from-behind win against (Western Michigan)," Chambers said. "They battled. They are tough. They are just as big as us, which is going to be interesting to see. VMI was a little bit smaller than us. I'll be interested to see if we can get all of those paint points we got in our post ups."

Following the DePaul game, Penn State will head to Pittsburgh on Friday for a 7 p.m. tip against Duquesne.


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By Zach Reagan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State track and field preseason training is officially underway and the program is nearing the start of its indoor season. GoPSUsports.com caught up with first-year sprints, hurdles, and relays coach Erin Tucker to get a preview of this year's athletes.

Tucker brings a wealth of experience and success to the Penn State program. He's been a part of three national championships at Florida in recent years, and has coached several student-athletes that have competed at the Olympics. He looks to keep the winning tradition going with the Nittany Lions during this year's indoor and outdoor seasons.

Tucker's sprinting groups are filled with many young athletes looking to contribute and build off of what they accomplished last season. On the men's side, there is more depth than last year. There are nine sprinting athletes in comparison to last season's total of just four athletes. "The fact that we have nine, we've already moved a little bit up the ladder and stepped up the curve so to speak," said Tucker.

For the men, local senior Alex Shisler (State College, Pa.) is coming off an All-American indoor season in the distance medley relay last season. Tucker looks for Shisler and freshman Sam Reiser (Melbourne, Australia) to have solid years in the 400-meter dash event. Reiser won three national gold medals for Team Australia at the World Junior Championships in his high school career.

Returning sophomore short sprinter Xavier Smith (Douglassville, Pa.) looks to improve upon an impressive 2015 track season. "He's shocked a lot of people this year in how he's progressing this fall," said Tucker.

As for impact freshmen athletes, freshman Cody Minnig (Levittown, Pa.) looks to switch over from long jumping to contribute for the short sprinting group.  Anton Porter (Bronx, N.Y.) also looks to contribute in the short sprinting events, and David Marrington (Langhorne, Pa.) looks to run well in the outdoor hurdles.

The women's side is made up of a lot of young athletes. "We have a number of young ladies that were here last year that got an opportunity 'to get their feet wet' (in the Big Tens and the NCAAs)," said Tucker.

For the women, juniors Tichina Rhodes (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Megan Osborne (Chillicothe, Ohio) both ran on the 4x400-meter relay that qualified for nationals last season. They know what it takes to succeed at the collegiate level, according to coach Tucker. Remarkably, Rhodes had a lot of success in the 400-meter dash last season without the use of blocks. Coach Tucker said she's been working on her block mechanics to build upon what she accomplished last year.

Sophomore Quenee Dale (Ypsilanti, Mich.) looks to improve on her freshman year in the short sprints, hurdles, and relay events. Coach Tucker is extremely excited to see what freshman Keianna Albury (Nassau, Bahamas) can do this season as she brings great size, strength, and ability to the team. Albury won the 200-meter dash at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships. "Her potential is limitless," said Tucker.

Freshman Lauren Costa looks to contribute for the relay events. She has been a great teammate by helping her teammates out at practice.

Both the men and the women sprinters are continuing to train and prepare for the first official competition of the season in less than a month. The indoor season kicks off with the annual intrasquad Blue-White Meet on Dec. 12th. Following the Blue-White Meet, is the opening home Penn State Relays on Jan. 9th.

For more information on Penn State Track and Field visit www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.  


11490906.jpeg By ANNA PITINGOLO, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer    

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - When the Lady Lions opened the season on Friday night against Holy Cross, senior Brianna Banks and junior Peyton Whitted both had career games, helping the team to a thrilling overtime 86-82 victory. 

 On Sunday against Fordham, the duo picked up right where they left off, leading the team to a 75-59 win over the Rams. Banks has been out to a fast start in her first season in a Lady Lion uniform. She scored 22 points against Fordham, two more than she had on Friday, and set a new career-high for herself. She also had a strong showing on defense, with two steals and a handful of blocked passes. 

Banks opened up the scoring for Penn State, although that didn't come until over halfway through the first quarter when the Lady Lions were in a 6-0 hole. But once that first shot fell, the Lady Lions came storming back, with Banks scoring four of the team's first 10 points to take the 10-8 lead. And then when the Lady Lions went on a run again late in the game, it was Banks who took over and led the way.

"That's what we want her to do, [we want her to be] that player that is the catalyst for the team and is that sparkplug when we need to stop a run or we need to get a run started," said head coach Coquese Washington. "She has to be ready to step up and make the big shots and take the big shots, and she doesn't have fear, so whether she makes or misses those shots, she's ready for the next one."

Banks credits her two high scoring games to her shooting the ball more, something she's started doing thanks to the insistence by her coaches.

"That's from my coach yelling at me to shoot, everyday; even outside of practice, she texts me to shoot more, so I have to give that to her," Banks said. "[Also], just creating plays on offense, not just for myself but for my teammates too."

Whitted had a quieter day against Fordham than she did against Holy Cross, but she still posted 11 rebounds, with seven coming in the first half, tying her career-high that she set on Friday. Washington sees Whitted doing the same thing in practice that she's doing in the game, and says her aggressiveness has been a huge factor in her getting to the board.

"She's being aggressive and pursuing the ball when it's shot, especially on the offensive end," Washington said. "In the fourth quarter she had a couple of big offensive rebounds and gave us some second possessions, which were big, and when I look at her stat line, she's doing what I had hoped she'd be able to do this year, which is just fill up the stat line.  11 rebounds, nine points, seven assists, she's all over the place and then I thought she did some good things defensively as well, so I'm really pleased with how she played today."

Senior Candice Agee had an impressive outing too, adding 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks to the mix. While Banks was the first to put the Lady Lions on the board, it was Agee that gave them the momentum to pull ahead.

"Candice Agee came on the floor and her presence was a big difference maker," Washington said. "We were able to exploit that, get some high-low looks, she got to the free throw line a little bit, so I thought her presence opened things up, and then we got a couple of baskets in transition and it just seemed like from there we had a lot more confidence in the rest of the half."

Penn State has a couple days off before they travel down to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on the Lady Volunteers on Wednesday. Tip is set for 8 p.m.


Monday Notebook: Penn State White Out History

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9503592.jpegUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following a bye, the Nittany Lions return to action this week for the penultimate game on the 2015 schedule.

Penn State will battle No. 14 Michigan on Senior Day in Beaver Stadium. Additionally, the Nittany Lion faithful will take part in one of the program's greatest traditions in the annual Penn State White Out game.

Always a fan favorite, Beaver Stadium will play host to a complete stadium Penn State White Out on Saturday afternoon (12 p.m.). A tradition stretching back to a student section white out in 2004, the Penn State White Outs have created an unrivaled atmosphere inside the 107,000-seat home of Penn State football.

Saturday's game will mark the eighth time the Nittany Lions will host a full stadium Penn State White Out. The history of the event began on Oct. 9, 2004 when the first student white out was held when the Nittany Lions hosted Purdue. Since then, there has been either a student section white out or full stadium white out in each of the past 11 seasons.

The first full stadium Penn State White Out took place on Sept. 8, 2007 when the Lions defeated Notre Dame, 31-10. Saturday will mark the second time Penn State has played Michigan in a full stadium Penn State White Out. The Lions outlasted the Wolverines in a thrilling four-overtime game (43-40) during Michigan's last visit to Beaver Stadium on Oct. 12, 2013.

Penn State White Out History
Oct. 9, 2004 vs. Purdue (student section)

Oct. 8, 2005 vs. Ohio State (student section)

Oct. 14, 2006 vs. Michigan (student section)

Sept. 8, 2007 vs. Notre Dame (full stadium)

Sept. 27, 2008 vs. Illinois (full stadium)

Sept. 26, 2009 vs. Iowa (full stadium)

Oct. 30, 2010 vs. Michigan (student section)

Sept. 10, 2011 vs. Alabama (full stadium)

Oct. 27, 2012 vs. Ohio State  (full stadium)

Oct. 12, 2013 vs. Michigan (full stadium)

Oct. 25, 2014 vs. Ohio State (full stadium)

The Lions will meet the Wolverines at noon on ABC in the final game inside Beaver Stadium for 2015.

Statistical Update on Carl Nassib
With the Nittany Lions idle over the weekend, senior defensive end Carl Nassib's stellar season statistics remained the same as they were last week. However, Nassib will head into the final two weeks of the regular season as the national leader in sacks (15.5) and tackles for loss (19.5).

The Penn State season record holder in sacks, Nassib has averaged 1.55 sacks per game during the first 10 games of the season. He has at least one sack in every game this season. Additionally, Nassib has averaged 2.0 tackles for loss per game.

Nassib is 3.0 sacks clear of Maryland junior defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who is second in the nation in sacks at 12.5 on the season. Duke defensive back Jeremy Cash is second nationally in tackles for loss with 17.5.

Early Look at Michigan
Led by first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh, Michigan (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) is the 14th-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 this week. The Wolverines topped Indiana in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon in Bloomington. Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock connected with wide receiver Jehu Chesson on a fourth down touchdown in the final seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime. Michigan outlasted the Hoosiers in double OT by a score of 48-41. Rudock and Chesson were superb in the victory, with Rudock tossing six touchdown passes and finishing with 440 yards through the air. Chesson had 10 catches for 207 yards and four touchdowns.

For the season, Rudock has thrown for 2,220 yards, 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 64.2 percent of his passes. Junior running back De'Veon Smith is Michigan's leading rusher with 582 yards and five touchdowns. Amara Darboh leads the Michigan receivers with 45 receptions for 567 yards. Michigan's offense is ranked No. 3 in the nation inside the red zone (95.2 percent).

Defensively, Michigan is among the national leaders in several statistical categories. Michigan is No. 2 in the nation in total defense (268.7 yards per game). Additionally, the Wolverines are ranked No. 8 in rushing defense (103.2 yards per game), No. 6 in passing yards allowed (165.5 yards per game) and No. 6 in scoring defense (14.8 points per game).

Penn State and Michigan will meet for the 19th time on Saturday. The Nittany Lions are 7-11 all-time against the Wolverines and 4-5 in games held at Beaver Stadium. Penn State has won the last three against Michigan in Beaver Stadium, including the thrilling 43-40 four-overtime win in 2013.

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