STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Three takeaways from Penn State’s 28-21 win over Michigan on Saturday night’s “White Out” at Beaver Stadium.
An offensive snooze
Penn State’s offense was clicking for the first quarter and a half. The Nittany Lions scored on three of their first five possessions and took a 21-0 lead before the attack went on an extended nap. They netted just one first down and 30 total yards on their next five possessions, all of which ended in punts, and Michigan trimmed the deficit to seven points. The Lions appeared to go conservative on offense after their third touchdown, and the Wolverines’ defense gained in confidence, stopping the run and putting extended pressure on Sean Clifford.
Where’s the rush?
The Nittany Lions’ pass rush, which began the night with 27 sacks in their previous six games, was unable to get much pressure on Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson. They got one sack on a blitz by safety Garrett Taylor but most of the night Patterson was able to step in the pocket and have his choice of receivers. With the offense unable to move the ball after going ahead by three touchdowns, the defense was asked to stay on the field for longer stretches and appeared to get worn down despite the Lions’ practice of constantly rotating fresh players. The defense only forced one interception and no fumbles from a team that had 13 turnovers (nine lost fumbles) entering the game, but was able to come up with a big goal-line stand with 2 minutes, 1 second to play.
The “White Out”