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No. 4/5 Michigan Spoils Big Ten Opener

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Saquon Barkley totaled 136 all-purpose yards for Penn State, but an all-around performance by No. 4/5 Michigan gave the Wolverines a 49-10 victory over the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten football opener for both teams Saturday afternoon in Michigan Stadium.

Michigan (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) built a 28-0 lead in the first half, while Penn State's (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) lone touchdown came in the second half, an 8-yard completion from quarterback Trace McSorley to wide receiver Chris Godwin.

Barkley posted a career-high 77 yards receiving on five receptions and rushed for 59 yards on 15 carries. McSorley completed 16-of-27 pass attempts for 121 yards and a touchdown with one interception.

Seven different Michigan rushers totaled 329 yards and six touchdowns, led by De'Veon Smith's 107 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts and Karan Higdon's 81 yards and two touchdowns on nine attempts.

Penn State was playing short-handed as all three starting linebackers - Brandon Bell, Jason Cabinda and Nyeem Wartman-White- were unavailable due to injury. The Nittany Lions' starting linebacker trio featured just three career combined starts as opposed to the 63 represented by the opening day trio. Starting middle linebacker Brandon Smith was then disqualified on the first play of the second quarter for targeting and his replacement, Jan Johnson, suffered a season-ending injury in the second quarter.

SafetyMalik Golden led Penn State with a career-high 11 tackles, including eight solo and one for loss. True freshman linebacker Cameron Brown made 10 stops in his first significant action. Sophomore linebacker Manny Bowen also had a career high of seven stops, while safety Marcus Allen had seven solo stops and two pass breakups.

Turning Point
Michigan's defense was able to pin Penn State in its own end and stop the Nittany Lions on fourth down near midfield early, giving its offense short fields. Michigan took advantage of the field position for touchdowns on each of their first three drives for a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Difference Makers
Penn State

  • RB Saquon Barkley- Barkley totaled 136 all-purpose yards as Penn State's leading rusher and receiver. He rushed 15 times for 59 yards and caught five passes for a career-high 77 yards.
  • S Malik Golden- Golden made a career-high 11 tackles, including eight solo and one for loss.
  • LB Cameron Brown - The true freshman playing just his second game made 10 tackles in his first significant action.
  • WR Chris Godwin- Godwin scored Penn State's lone touchdown on an 8-yard pass reception.
  • QB Trace McSorley- McSorley completed 16-of-27 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He has thrown at least one touchdown in each of the last five games, dating back to the TaxSlayer Bowl.


  • Michigan Rushing Attack - Seven different rushers combined for 326 yards on 49 attempts, with five different rushers combining for six touchdowns.
  • Michigan Defense - Held Penn State to 199 total yards and five different players totaled six sacks.
  • QB Wilton Speight - Speight completed 15-of-24 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown in the first half and finished with 21 completions on 34 attempts for 189 yards.
  • LB Ben Gedeon - Gedeon made 11 tackles including 1.5 for loss.
  • LB/DB Jabrill Peppers - Peppers returned a punt 53 yards, setting up a touchdown drive.

Scoring Drives
1st Qtr
MICH - 9:51 - TD - Khalid Hill, 1 yd Rush, 7 plays, 41 yards, 3:11 - 0-7
MICH - 3:57 - TD - De'Veon Smith, 2 yd Rush, 9 plays, 54 yards, 3:30 - 0-14

2nd Qtr
MICH - 14:09 - TD - Deven Asiasi, 3 yd Pass from Speight, 9 plays, 64 yards, 3:14 - 0-21
MICH - 0:46 - TD - Jake Butt, 9 yd Reception from Speight, 13 plays, 80 yards, 7:01 - 0-28

3rd Qtr
PSU - 11:31 - FG - Tyler Davis, 21 yd Kick, 8 plays, 71 yards, 2:01 - 3-28
MICH - 2:42 - TD - Chris Evans, 3 yd Rush, 9 plays, 80 yards, 3:42 - 3-35

4th Qtr
PSU - 11:22 - TD - Chris Godwin, 8 yd Pass from McSorley, 13 plays, 75 yards, 6:20 - 10-35
MICH - 6:11 - TD - Karan Higdon, 40 yd Rush, 10 plays, 76 yards, 5:11 - 10-42
MICH - 2:04 - TD - Ty Isaac, 3 yd Rush, 4 plays, 31 yards, 1:13 - 10-49

Key Drives
First Quarter
MICHIGAN 13:02-9:51 (3:11, 7 plays, 24 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
The Wolverines started their first offensive possession at the Penn State 24 after Jabrill Peppers returned a 61-yard Blake Gillikin punt 53 yards to the 9, only to have a personal foul move the ball back to the 24. QB Wilton Speight went 4-for-5 on passing attempts, guiding Michigan to the 1-yard line. Khalid Allen then punched it in on fourth-and-1 for the touchdown.
Michigan 7, Penn State 0

MICHIGAN 7:27-3:57 (3:30, 9 plays, 54 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Michigan once again benefitted from good field position as is defense stopped Penn State on fourth down at the Michigan 46. Speight once again engineered the drive, completing 4-of-5 passes for 45 yards, including a long of 25 to Jake Butt to convert a third-and-6 and move Michigan inside the red zone at the 14. De'Veon Smith rushed it in from two yards out for the touchdown,
Michigan 14, Penn State 0

Second Quarter
MICHIGAN 1:29 (1st Qtr)-14:09 (2:40, 9 plays, 64 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Michigan took over at its own 36 following a Penn State three-and-out, but De'Veon Smith broke off a 39-yard rush to the Penn State 25 on the first play. Three rushes gave Michigan first-and-goal from the 8. On third down, Speight found Devin Asiasi in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown reception.
Michigan 21, Penn State 0

MICHIGAN 7:01-0:46 (6:15, 13 plays, 80 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
The Wolverines engineered a 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Michigan moved into Penn State territory on completions of 16 and 18 yards to Grant Perry and Jehu Chesson, respectively. Speight capped the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Butt.
Michigan 28, Penn State 0

Third Quarter
PENN STATE 13:32-11:31 (2:01, 8 plays, 71 yards) - FIELD GOAL
After the defense forced a three-and-out to open the second half, Penn State took over at its own 27, and Barkley rushed around the right side for 33 yards to the Michigan 40. A pass interference penalty moved the Lions to the 25, and, after a loss of on, a 19-yard reception by Barkley gave the Lions first and goal from the 7. Barkley was able to move Penn State to the 2, but Michigan was able to keep the Nittany Lions out of the end zone and Tyler Davis converted a 21-yard field goal.
Michigan 28, Penn State 3

MICHIGAN 6:24-2:42 (3:42, 9 plays, 80 yards) - TOUCHDOWN
Chris Evans opened the drive with a 37-yard run and finished it with a 3-yard touchdown run.
Michigan 35, Penn State 3

Fourth Quarter
PENN STATE 2:42 (3rd Qtr)-11:22 (4th Qtr) (3:42, 9 plays, 80 yards) - TOUCHDOWN

McSorley rushed for a yard on fourth-and-1 at his own 35 and a pass interference penalty on third-and-14 moved Penn State to midfield. McSorley then found Gesick on third-and-7 for a 12-yard gain to the Michigan 39. Another pass interference put Penn State just outside the red zone at the 21. An 11-yard reception by DaeSean Hamilton, a 2-yard rush by Barkley setup an 8-yard touchdown completion to Chris Godwin
Michigan 35, Penn State 10

The Rest
Michigan added a pair of rushing touchdowns late, taking advantage of an interception, for the final margin.

Up Next
Penn State returns home to Beaver Stadium Saturda, hosting Minnesota for the first time since 2009 Saturday.
To purchase tickets or for information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can, call 1-800-NITTANY or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 10 a.m-6 p.m.

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