Rapid Reaction: Penn State finally gets first win of season defeating Michigan
It took 336 days, but Penn State finally has that familiar feeling again: the elation of victory.
The Lions rebounded from the first 0-5 start in program history to beat Michigan 27-17 at The Big House. It was the first Penn State win in Ann Arbor since 2009.
Typically a negative for Penn State this season, the Lions scored on the opening drive for the first time since Week 1 against Indiana. Keyvone Lee capped off a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a 6-yard rush into the end zone.
Penn State’s defense responded accordingly holding an opponent off the scoreboard on their opening drive for the first time all year. Michigan scored on its next series featuring a 59-yard run from Hassan Haskins, but QB Cade McNamara was injured on the drive and missed the next two series for the Wolverines.
Sean Clifford, who earned the starting job back for Penn State this week after being bench in favor of Will Levis against Iowa, was also injured early in the game, but only missed a few plays and was an effective rusher for much of the game.
Clifford had two runs of greater than 20 yards, including a 28-yard rush for a touchdown. He finished 17 of 29 for 163 yards as a passer.
While Jahan Dotson entered the day as one of the Big Ten’s leading receivers, it was freshman Parker Washington who had a standout day for Penn State, finishing with career-highs in catches (9) and yards (93).
Fellow freshmen Lee and Caziah Holmes also had an effective day on the ground. Devyn Ford missed the game due to injury and a death in the family. In his place, Lee eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career and the first time all season by any Penn State running back.
Following a 2-yard touchdown run by Levis in the 4th quarter to extend the Lions’ lead to 10, Penn State’s defense appeared to have won the game on the ensuing drive with a fumble recovery, but the Lions were flagged for batting the ball. McNamara was injured again and replaced by Joe Milton. The Wolverines were then stopped 4 plays later on a Milton sneak on 4th down.