PENN STATE 43, No. 18 MICHIGAN 40 (4 OT)
at Beaver Stadium, State College
Penn State`7`14`3`10`9` —`43
First downs `21 `24
Rushes-yards `54-149 `44-85
Passing `240 `305
Comp-Att-Int `15-29-2 `23-45-2
Return Yards `5 `58
Punts-Avg. `6-40.8 `4-44.8
Fumbles-Lost `2-1 `2-2
Penalties-Yards `7-62 `5-56
Time of Possession `36:13 `23:47
RUSHING — Michigan, Gardner 24-121, Toussaint 27-27, Green 3-1. Penn St., Belton 27-85, Zwinak 8-24, Team 2-(minus 2), A.Robinson 1-(minus 6), Hackenberg 6-(minus 16).
PASSING — Michigan, Gardner 15-28-2-240, Team 0-1-0-0. Penn St., Hackenberg 23-44-2-305, Team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Michigan, Gallon 7-95, Funchess 4-112, Dileo 1-13, Chesson 1-9, Butt 1-6, Hayes 1-5. Penn St., Felder 6-97, James 6-67, A.Robinson 5-84, Belton 3-26, Carter 2-24, Anderson 1-7.
PSU — Brandon Felder 12-yard pass from Christian Hackenberg (Sam Ficken kick), 9:39. Drive: 3 plays. 14 yards, 0:50. Analysis: Penn State’s fast start is nearly derailed as Hackenberg misses his mark in Michigan territory and is intercepted by Jarrod Wilson. But the Penn State defense answers almost immediately. Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, who entered the day with the most interceptions in the Big Ten, throws his ninth in six games as Jordan Lucas jumps a sideline route and takes it back to the Michigan 14. On third-and-8, Hackenberg has plenty of time to sit in the pocket and wait for Felder to come open in the middle of the end zone, hitting the senior for the wideout’s first score of the season. PENN STATE 7, MICHIGAN 0.
UM — Devin Funchess 59-yard pass from Devin Gardner (Brendan Gibbons kick), 8:19. Drive: 3 plays, 86 yards, 1:13. Analysis: Well, that didn’t take long. What had been a frenzied crowd dressed in bright white just got quieted down by a blown coverage. On first-and-10 following two nice runs, the Wolverines go to the air. Penn State counters by sending Lucas on a corner blitz, but the Wolverines are able to pick it up and Gardner has a huge window to hit his tight end down the seam. With safety Ryan Keiser the nearest defender some 10 yards away, the athletic Funchess is able to turn around and field the pass like a punt and still have plenty of time to turn around and stroll into the end zone. PSU 7, UM 7.
UM — Brendan Gibbons 47-yard field goal, 0:49. Drive: 5 plays, 23 yards, 2:49. Analysis: A Bill O’Brien gamble backfires, and it ends up flipping field position on the Lions. O’Brien calls for a QB sneak on fourth-and-1 from his own 34 and Hackenberg has no chance as he’s pushed backward almost immediately. The defense bails the offense out by forcing a punt, but the reprieve is brief as a 41-yard punt by the Lions sets up the Wolverines again. Only a fumbled snap on third-and-1 and a false start on fourth-and-inches halts Michigan, which opts for the field goal after the penalty. It’s a career-long kick for Gibbons. UM 10, PSU 7.
PSU — Jesse James 20-yard pass from Hackenberg (Ficken kick), 11:29. Drive: 1 play, 20 yards, 0:08. Analysis: Devin Gardner has alternately thrilled and infuriated Michigan fans this season, and this game is no different. The junior shows great moves to scramble on third down for an improbable conversion, then completely misses defensive end Anthony Zettel dropping back into coverage. It makes for an easy pick for the Michigan native to fire the crowd back up. Penn State strikes immediately as James comes open at the goal line and reaches up to snag in the pass as he falls back into the end zone. Surprisingly, it’s the first touchdown by a Penn State tight end on the season. PSU 14, UM 10.
PSU — Felder 24-yard pass from Hackenberg (Ficken kick), 7:06. Drive: 10 plays, 61 yards, 2:39. Analysis: The defense did most of the work early in the half, but this time it’s the offense putting the Wolverines on their heels. O’Brien goes to the no-huddle NASCAR package and Hackenberg looks to be in a groove, hitting Kyle Carter, Allen Robinson and Jesse James for first downs. On third-and-10, he sees corner Courtney Avery get turned around and lofts a nice ball high enough for Felder to go up and make the play over top of Avery, who had his back to the play. PSU 21, UM 10.
UM — Frank Clark 24-yard fumble return (Gibbons kick), 14:50. Analysis: It’s just about impossible to start a half worse than this. Hoping to build on first-half momentum, the Lions swing it all back into Michigan’s corner on the first play from scrimmage. Zach Zwinak, who had improved his ball security through the first five games, coughs it up on a simple hit by James Ross III. The ball bounces free and Clark, a defensive end, doesn’t have much trouble scooping it up, shoving aside Hackenberg and scoring. Brand new ballgame. PSU 21, UM 17.
UM — Gibbons 23-yard field goal, 8:50. Drive: 5 plays, 19 yards, 1:52. Analysis: Penn State’s miserable start to the half continues as Hackenberg has his sideline pass picked off by Raymon Taylor, who gives the Wolverines the ball at the Lions 26 and a great shot at the lead. Michigan’s drive is temporarily thrown off when Gardner is forced to the sideline for a play because he had lost his helmet. He came back for a third-down pass that just went through the hands of Funchess. Brady Hoke calls on his kicker from there. PSU 21, UM 20.
PSU — Ficken 45-yard field goal, 4:21. Drive: 10 plays, 50 yards, 4:25. Analysis: Needing some sort of sustained drive to stop the bleeding, the Lions get it as Bill Belton, replacing Zwinak after the fumble, picks up a couple first downs as a rusher and a receiver. A tough catch by Belton on third-and-long to pick up some yards makes it a manageable kick for Ficken, who continues his strong season by confidently converting the kick. PSU 24, UM 20.
UM — Jeremy Gallon 16-yard pass from Gardner (Gibbons kick), 0:28. Drive: 9 plays, 73 yards, 3:47. Analysis: Looking to atone for a lackluster first half, Gardner begins to settle in for the Wolverines, setting the tone with some successful designed keepers to keep the Lions aggressive defense honest. Penn State appears to have the stop on third down, but Adrian Amos is flagged for pass interference, much to the chagrin of the home sideline. Michigan takes advantage with the team’s longest drive of the game, capped off by a toss to Gallon, who beat Trevor Williams on a post corner route for the score. UM 27, PSU 24.
UM — Funchess 37-yard pass from Gardner (Gibbons kick), 10:28. Drive: 5 plays, 70 yards, 2:41. Analysis: After Penn State misses a game-tying 47-yard field goal, the Wolverines go for the knockout. A much-improved Gardner converts as the Lions defense, stout in the first half, begins to tire. Penn State has just 10 men on the field, apparently short a safety, forcing linebacker Glenn Carson to run 40 yards downfield in coverage against the athletic Funchess. Gardner’s throw is right on the mark with no deep help for the defense, and Michigan is feeling it now. UM 34, PSU 24.
PSU — Ficken 43-yard field goal, 6:35. Drive: 12 plays, 49 yards, 3:53. Analysis: Facing a fourth-and-1 from midfield, Penn State keeps its hopes alive as Belton picks it up with Zwinak still benched. But a sack drops the Lions in a hole and forces them to go for three while down two scores. Ficken rebounds from the earlier miss to hit this one to give his team a shot. UM 34, PSU 27.
PSU — Hackenberg 1-yard run (Ficken kick), 0:27. Drive: 5 plays, 80 yards, 0:23. Analysis: One of the most stunning drives in Penn State history comes as Hackenberg, with no timeouts, hits Allen Robinson, Felder and then Robinson again on an incredible acrobatic catch down to the 1. Hackenberg just barely gets it over the goal line for an improbable tying touchdown. UM 34, PSU 34.
UM — Gibbons 25-yard field goal. Analysis: After the teams exchange missed field goals in the first overtime, with Penn State’s Kyle Baublitz getting credited with a block. Michigan converts on its second possession afer Gardner’s third-down scramble comes up short. UM 37, PSU 34.
PSU — Ficken 36-yard field goal. Analysis: Still in the second OT, Penn State gets a nice gain on first down but a third-down pass is incomplete. Ficken’s kick is good this time as it hooks just inside the upright to force a third overtime. UM 37, PSU 37.
UM — Gibbons 40-yard field goal. Analysis: Gibbons had missed another shot to win in the third overtime, pulling a kick wide left after Penn State turns it over on a fumble. But Gibbons opens the fourth OT with a make. UM 40, PSU 37.
PSU — Belton 2-yard run. Analysis: Belton converts a fourth-and-1. Robinson draws a pass interference flag in the end zone on third down. And Belton finishes off one of the most memorable games in Beaver Stadium history, bouncing off left tackle for the winning touchdown. PSU 43, UM 40.