Michigan erased an early deficit against the number two team in the country, but then the second half happened.
The Wolverines were outscored 21-0 after halftime, and Penn State ran away from the Wolverines in a lopsided 42-13 win that all but ends Michigan's hopes of winning a Big Ten championship in Jim Harbaugh's third year at the helm.
Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley rushed for three touchdowns each, also hooking up for a 42-yard score early in the fourth quarter that essentially put the game out of reach at 35-13.
John O'Korn showed some flashes, but the play-calling was mind-boggling, as Michigan didn't seem to have any answer for the Penn State rush. O'Korn routinely sat in the pocket, never rolling out or throwing a quick pass to his receivers. He finished with 166 yards through the air, including a costly fumble early in the fourth quarter.
Penn State gained 506 yards on offense, compared to 269 for the Wolverines.
Patience with Harbaugh's program has started to wear thin, as even former players are now making their frustrations public:
Penn State rubbing it in
Brandon Polk reeled in a 23-yard pass down to the Michigan 25, and Trace McSorley did the rest, taking off for a run of 19 yards before notching a nine-yard touchdown run to give Penn State a 42-13 lead with 7:53 remaining.
McSorley has rushed 11 times for 76 yards and three touchdowns.
Wolverines turn the ball over on downs
John O'Korn hit Grant Perry with a big third down pass to get the offense out to midfield, but nothing good happened after that. The Wolverines couldn't move the ball, and on fourth down, O'Korn was sacked to pretty much put this game to bed.
With 9:50 remaining, the Nittany Lions lead 35-13.
Barkley puts Penn State up big
It took just two plays for Saquon Barkley to reel in a 42-yard touchdown pass from Trace McSorley that puts Penn State up 35-13 with 13:11 remaining in the game.
The Wolverines have lined a linebacker up on Barkley all night long. They had been very lucky not to be burned earlier, and now the vaunted Michigan defense can do nothing but lick its wounds.
O'Korn fumbles away Michigan's chances
John O'Korn didn't feel the pocket collapsing and Penn State forced and recovered a fumble at the Michigan 46.
We're in the fourth quarter now with PSU leading 28-13 with 13:43 on the clock. Anymore points for the Nittany Lions will probably dash any hopes the Wolverines have of getting back in this game.
After the Michigan defense got a three-and-out, John O'Korn made a big throw on third down to Sean McKeon to a first down out to the 38. Ty Isaac got near the first down marker two plays later, but a chop block penalty cost Michigan 15 yards and set up a 2nd-and-21. That's when O'Korn unleashed a perfectly timed throw to Grant Perry to get the Wolverines a first down near midfield before the fumble.
Offense doesn't have an answer
Donovan Peoples-Jones reeled in a 16-yard reception on the first play of the drive. But on third-and-six, John O'Korn stood in the pocket for a long time and never fired a pass downfield, taking a sack as Michigan was forced to punt the ball back to the Nittany Lions.
With 3:02 remaining, PSU leads 28-13.
Hamilton, McSorley lead PSU scoring drive
DaeSean Hamilton continues to plague the Wolverines, as he reeled in a 26-yard pass to get PSU across midfield. Trace McSorley used his feet to get Penn State inside the Michigan 30, and on third-and-3, Hamilton grabbed another pass for a Nittany Lions first down. McSorley then used the option fake to Saquon Barkley to fool the Michigan defense on his way to a 13-yard touchdown run that puts PSU up 28-13 with 5:13 to play in the third quarter.
Drop costs UM to start 2nd half
John O'Korn averted disaster when he dropped the ball on a six-yard scramble that Grant Perry jumped on top of. On third-and-4, O'Korn showed no hesitation in going right back up the middle for a first down run. Eddie McDoom set the Wolverines up with third-and-short after an 8-yard jet sweep, and Ty Isaac picked up the first down into Penn State territory with a run on the edge. Donovan Peoples-Jones dropped a pass on a bubble screen that would have gone for a big gain, and O'Korn was dropped for a sack on the very next play. On third-and-16, Peoples-Jones made an 8-yard grab but Michigan was forced to punt.
The Nittany Lions will get the ball back at their own 20 with 10:37 to play in the third quarter. PSU still leads 21-13.
PSU takes 21-13 into the half
Trace McSorley hit a couple of jump balls and capped up a seven-play, 75-yard drive that took less than a minute off the clock to put the Nittany Lions up 21-13 heading into halftime.
McSorley hit DaeSean Hamilton for a 36-yard completion down to the Michigan 27 with just over a minute remaining in the first half. After Saquon Barkley notched nine yards on first down, the Wolverines were able to bottle him up and set up a third-and-3. Mike Gesicki went up and made a play for his quarterback to get the ball down to the 3.
Despite Michigan's late life in the first half, the Penn State offense has 302 yards to 141 for the maize and blue.
John O'Korn has settled into the game and has actually started to look like a pretty competent quarterback, making throws under pressure and scrambling for first downs. In the first half, he was 6-for-8 for 58 yards, but he made extremely timely throws on the scoring drive prior to the half. He ran four times for 24 yards.
O'Korn leads crucial scoring drive
Ty Isaac pounded through the line and into the end zone for a Michigan touchdown that cuts the Penn State lead to 14-13 with 1:45 remaining in the first half.
John O'Korn found some running room when a play broke down, stepping up in the pocket and scrambling for a 14-yard gain out near midfield. On the next play, O'Korn hit Donovan Peoples-Jones for an 18-yard gain to the PSU 34. On second-and-six, O'Korn and Grant Perry missed a hookup that could have put Michigan near the goal line. On third down, O'Korn took a big hit but was able to get off a ball to Kekoa Crawford that got the ball down to the PSU 6.
Michigan defense comes up big
On fourth-and-7 from the Wolverines 37, Trace McSorley flew one of his patented jump balls, but Lavert Hill went up with the receiver and knocked the ball to the ground to get the ball back to the Michigan offense.
PSU still leads, 14-6, with 5:05 remaining in the second quarter.
After the Michigan offense went three-and-out, McSorley threw a third down ball up for grabs that DaeSean Hamilton came down with at the Wolverines 46. After another first down, Penn State appeared to have a big play on its hands, but Saquon Barkley dropped the ball on the wheel route. On third-and-8, the Nittany Lions went nowhere on an option play.
Defense starting to flex its muscles
Maurice Hurst swallowed up Trace McSorley on first down to put Penn State behind the chains after first down. On the next play, Saquon Barkley lost four yards to set up a third-and-19. On that play, Khaleke Hudson nearly intercepted McSorley in the end zone for a touchdown, but dropped the ball on his way to the ground.
The Wolverines will get the ball back at their own 37 with 11:19 remaining in the first half, trailing 14-6.
UM cashes in, Nordin misses XP
The Wolverines got the ball all the way down to the Penn State 1 and were forced to go for it on fourth-and-goal. John O'Korn turned and pitched the ball to Karan Higdon, who got the angle to the outside and cross the goal line, cutting the PSU lead to 14-6 with 12:53 remaining in the first quarter after Quinn missed the extra point.
O'Korn hit Khalid Hill for eight yards on first down and scrambled for 12 yards to get the offense across midfield. Chris Evans battled hard for a couple of runs that produced a first down at the Penn State 27. Two plays later, Higdon slammed through the line for an 11-yard gain. Eddie McDoom reeled in a reception for 13 yards down the PSU 3 as the clock expired in the first quarter.
Michigan defense finally makes a play
David Long made the play Michigan needed as Penn State got ready to stretch its early lead, jumping on a Trace McSorley pass for an interception and returning it out to the Wolverines 41.
McSorley threw a ball backwards to Saquon Barkley, sailing it over his running back's head for what would have been a huge loss for Penn State on second down. Instead, Chase Winovich decided it would be a good idea to hit the quarterback well after the play and give the Nittany Lions 15 free yards, which caused a swing of 29 yards from the 21 to midfield. On third-and-4, McSorley hit Andre Robinson for five yards. A couple of running plays set PSU up inside the 25 prior to the interception.
Michigan offense operating in reverse
True freshman Ambry Thomas set the Michigan offense up at their own 43 with a nice return on the kickoff.
That was the highlight of Michigan's day so far.
The Wolverines ran with Karan Higdon twice to start this series (just like they did in their first series). After those went nowhere, John O'Korn completed a screen pass that lost six yards.
It could be a long night for those wearing maize and blue. It's 14-0 with 7:54 to play in the first quarter.
Barkley scores again, PSU off and running
Trace McSorley pulled the ball from Saquon Barkley's belly and kept it for a 23-yard gain on an option. On the next play, the quarterback threw a ball up for grabs to Mike Gesicki, who went above the Michigan defense and reeled in a 35-yard pass down to the Michigan 15. On the next play, Barkley trotted into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown.
At this point, it's too easy for the Nittany Lions.
It's 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.
UM offense can't answer PSU's fast start
Karan Higdon managed three yards on the first two plays for the Michigan offense. John O'Korn was swallowed up on third down, and the Wolverines are off to a terrible start in Happy Valley.
Penn State gets the ball back, up 7-0, with 12:16 on the clock.
Barkley makes a splash early
Well, that was fast.
On the second play of the game, Saquon Barkely went 69 yards on a direct snap for a Penn State touchdown that puts the Nittany Lions up 7-0 with 14:17 still on the clock in the first quarter.
The Michigan defense has to be shocked by that. This isn't a defense that's used to giving up the big play. Time for the offense to step it up.
MICHIGAN VS. PENN STATE
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pa.
TV / radio: ABC / WWJ 950
Records: Michigan 5-1 (2-1 Big Ten), Penn State 6-0 (3-0)
Line: Penn State by 9