Nittany Lions Edged By Michigan, 14-9
Sept. 22, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan's Mike Hart carried the ball a record-setting 44 times for 153 yards and the Wolverines controlled the clock en route to a 14-9 win here today over Penn State, handing the No. 10 Nittany Lions (3-1, 0-1) their first loss of the season.
Penn State had its six-game winning streak snapped.
Michigan (2-2, 1-0) held the ball for 34:52 and ran 86 plays compared to Penn State's 60. Hart's 44 carries were a career-high and broke the record by a Penn State opponent of 42, previously set by Indiana's BenJarvus Green-Ellis in 2003.
The Penn State defense permitted only three drives above 40 yards, forced two turnovers and limited Hart to 3.5 yards per carry, but the Wolverines were 10 of 18 on third down conversions. For the third time this season, the defense had to return to the field with the opposition starting a drive inside the Lions' 10-yard-line.
Michigan got on the scoreboard first, with 9:35 left in the first quarter, following an Anthony Morelli fumble at the Penn State 10-yard-line. Wolverine quarterback Ryan Mallett ran 10 yards for the score and a 7-0 lead that they took into the second quarter.
Penn State drew within 7-3 on a 28-yard field goal by junior Kevin Kelly with 9:14 left in the second quarter. The Nittany Lions drove 69 yards on 11 plays, including a 24-yard reception by Terrell Golden and a 22-yard catch by Andrew Quarless. The drive was Penn State's longest of the season for yards and time of possession (5:28).
The Wolverines threatened late in the first half, but on third down, junior cornerback Lydell Sargeant grabbed his second career interception, returning it 31 yards to the PSU 37 with :01 on the clock.
Midway through the third quarter, the Nittany Lions put together a productive drive that featured a 19-yard run by Austin Scott and a 19-yard completion to Deon Butler to the Michigan 11. But, Scott fumbled on his way to ground and the Wolverines recovered at their own nine and maintained their 7-3 lead.
Michigan turned the ball right back over, as sophomore cornerback A.J. Wallace pounced on the loose pigskin at the Wolverines' 35. Rodney Kinlaw converted a fourth-and-one play with a two-yard run and the Lions advanced to the Michigan two. But, a holding penalty moved Penn State back and the Lions were forced to bring out Kelly, who connected on a 29-yard field goal with :23 left in the third quarter to make it 7-6.
The Wolverines responded, driving 77 yards in 15 plays, capped by a one-yard run by Hart to give Michigan a 14-6 lead with 8:52 to play.
A 38-yard run by Kinlaw took the ball to the Michigan 15, but the drive stalled and Kelly came in and connected from 31 yards out with 6:04 to play to make it 14-9. The field goal was the third of the game and 44th of Kelly's career.
On its ensuing possession, Michigan earned three first downs and reached the Penn State 44 before being forced to punt. The Nittany Lions took possession at their own 13 with 1:28 to play and out of time outs, but Morelli was forced to throw the ball away twice and the Wolverines broke up the next two passes to get the ball back and run out the clock.
Junior linebacker Sean Lee made a game-high 12 tackles for the second consecutive game and was one of 10 Nittany Lions that made a minus-yardage play. Sargeant made a career-high 10 tackles (seven solo), including a tackle for loss, and his interception. Senior linebacker Dan Connor made nine stops, with a TFL, to increase his career tackle to total to 312, four away from passing Brian Gelzheiser for third place. Sophomore DE Maurice Evans made a career-high nine stops, including a game-high four tackles for minus-eight yards. Sophomore DE Jerome Hayes added a career-best six tackles (five solo).
Morelli was 15 of 31 for 169 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. Junior wideouts Deon Butler (3-30), Jordan Norwood (3-30) and Derrick Williams (3-26) all made three catches and sophomore tight end Andrew Quarless had two catches for 33 yards. Kinlaw led the Lions with 69 rushing yards on 12 carries (5.8 avg.).
The Nittany Lions remain on the road next week, visiting Illinois at 11:00 a.m./12:00 p.m. ET. The Fighting Ilini defeated Indiana, 27-14, to improve to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten. The contest will air on the Big Ten Network, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com, the official home of Penn State Athletics.