UM eclipses Notre Dame as No. 1 in winning percentage

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan's safety Tyree Kinnel (23) celebrates with linebacker Mike McCray, left, after McCray's interception in the fourth quarter.

Ann Arbor — Michigan entered its Big Ten opener leading the nation in program wins with 928 but trailed Notre Dame in winning percentage.

That changed after Michigan’s 49-10 victory over Penn State on Saturday. Notre Dame lost to Duke to fall to 1-3 and with that loss, was bumped from the winning percentage lead.

The Wolverines are now 929-331-36 with a .7307 winning percentage while Notre Dame is 893-316-42, or .7306.

Scoring frenzy

The last time Michigan scored 40 or more points in each of its first four games was 1947.

Michigan scored 63 in a season-opening victory against Hawaii, 51 against Central Florida, 45 against Colorado and 49 against Penn State on Saturday.

The Wolverines had four games scoring 40 points or more over the last two seasons combined, a 25-game span.

For the record, in 1947 Michigan scored 55 points, 49, 69 and 49 in the first four games.

Henning: Harbaugh's response to protests bigger than a game

Going 4 it

Michigan was 2-of-4 on fourth down conversions against Penn State.

Perhaps the Wolverines’ most bold attempt was on fourth-and-7 from the Penn State 24. Instead of attempting a field goal, quarterback Wilton Speight converted with a nine-yard run. Three plays later, the Wolverines scored a two-yard run by Karan Higdon to take a 28-0 lead.

“Especially the one way we were into the wind, felt like the odds were better going with the fourth downs,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “It seems to be happening more and more these days. We got into it, experimented with it a little bit and it worked out.”

Lots of sacks

The Wolverines had a season-best six sacks, their most since recording six against Northwestern in 2014. Michigan has averaged 4.25 sacks a game this season. Penn State had allowed only five sacks through three games before facing Michigan.


Twitter: @chengelis