Scores

Final

Michigan 17

(2-5, 1-2 Big Ten)

(3) Penn State 46

(8-0, 4-0 Big Ten)

Coverage: ESPN

4:30 PM ET, October 18, 2008

Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA

1 2 3 4 T
MICH 10 7 0 017
#3PSU 7 7 12 2046

Top Performers

Passing: D. Clark (PSU) - 171 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: E. Royster (PSU) - 18 CAR, 174 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Butler (PSU) - 8 REC, 105 YDS

Penn State snaps losing skid to Big Ten nemesis Michigan

Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Thousands of white pompoms fluttered and 100,000 Penn State fans broke into a sing-along as night fell on Beaver Stadium.

Reversal Of Fortune

Undefeated Penn State scored a rare victory against Michigan. Most of the previous matchups haven't worked in the Nittany Lions' favor.

Undefeated PSU Teams
vs. Michigan, All-Time
2008 7-0 Home W, 46-17
2007 3-0 Away L, 14-9
2005 6-0 Away L, 27-25
1997 7-0 Home L, 34-8
1994 5-0* Away W, 31-24
1993 5-0 Home L, 21-13
* -- Finished season 12-0

Joe Paterno's greatest nemesis was about to be vanquished by the third-ranked Nittany Lions and the 81-year-old coach had a bird's-eye view of party time in Happy Valley.

Yep, JoePa's getting a really good look at his latest national championship contender.

Behind the running of Evan Royster and a few momentum-shifting plays by the defense and special teams, the Nittany Lions withstood the Wolverines' early flurry and snapped a nine-game losing streak to their Big Ten rivals, 46-17 Saturday.

Paterno wasn't on the field to enjoy his record 380th victory, relegated to working from the press box for a third consecutive week because of a sore hip and leg.

"My being upstairs -- it's funny, I'm not sure that's not the best place for a head coach," he said. "I mean you really get a view of things, I get a better view of football games from up there than I ever do on the sideline."

Fast Facts

• Penn State trailed 17-7 at one point in the first half but rallied with 39 unanswered points to defeat Michigan and improve to 8-0 for the 10th time under Joe Paterno and the first since 1999. The win snapped a nine-game losing streak to Michigan for the Nittany Lions.

• Prior to its 29-point victory, Penn State's largest win over Michigan had been by just 12 points.

• After racking up 185 yards in the first quarter, Michigan managed just 106 the rest of the way.

-- ESPN research

What he's seeing is a team that should be no worse than third in the BCS standings when it heads to Ohio State next week.

"Am I starting to like it up there? I'll never like it, it doesn't mean that the team might be better off with me up there," Paterno said.

No team had ever won as many in a row against Penn State during Paterno's 43 seasons at the helm than Michigan. But if ever there was an opportunity for the Nittany Lions (8-0, 4-0) to break the streak it was now. The Wolverines (2-5, 1-2) have struggled mightily in their first season under coach Rich Rodriguez.

"It's a fact, you take it year by year, game by game, we lost to them last year, and coach has made a great point this week, that this Penn State team has not lost to this Michigan team," center A.Q. Shipley said.

Michigan came in a 23 1/2-point underdog. Never before had the Wolverines been so lightly regarded by odds makers.

The Wolverines looked like a good bet early, their spread offense clicking as they sped to a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter.

But Penn State (8-0, 4-0) deciphered the spread, got its own high-powered version of Rodriguez's offense rolling and delivered the knockout punch with a safety, a partially blocked punt and a forced fumble on consecutive second-half Michigan possessions.

"Oh, we executed for a while and then we didn't," said Rodriguez, whose team needs to win four more games to avoid Michigan's first losing season since 1967. "That's what happened. We executed, we moved the ball a little, and when we didn't, we didn't."

Jared Odrick gave Penn State its first lead of the game at 19-17 when he dragged down backup quarterback Nick Sheridan in the end zone with 4:39 left in third quarter.

The free kick set the Nittany Lions up at midfield, Royster's 21-yard run put them at the 1 and Daryll Clark sneaked in at 3:04 to make it 26-17.

Royster ran for 174 yards on 18 carries, with a 44-yard TD run in the first quarter.

A minute later, Nathan Stupar got a hand on Zoltan Mesko's punt deep in Michigan territory and Penn State turned the short kick into Kevin Kelly's 32-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth.

A little more than 60 seconds after that, Aaron Maybin sacked Steven Threet, who fumbled, and Penn State took over at the Michigan 19. A sore elbow forced Threet to miss some series.

Clark's second 1-yard sneak turned the final 12 minutes into a Beaver Stadium bash, with Penn State fans singing along to "Sweet Caroline" and enjoying their team's first victory against Michigan since 1996.

The Wolverines tormented the Nittany Lions over the last 12 seasons, handing them a few lopsided losses and several heartbreaking defeats. In 2005, the last time Penn State was in the hunt for a national title, Michigan scored a touchdown on the final play to hand Paterno's team its only loss of the season.

This one couldn't have started better for Michigan. After a three-and-out for Penn State, Michigan put together its longest drive of the season. The 14-play, 86-yard march featured all the best of Rodriguez's spread offense. The option cleared running lanes for Threet and Brandon Minor, who surpassed his season high on the drive with 42 yards rushing.

Minor finished it off with a 5-yard TD run.

"But we've been seeing little glimpses of that all season," Minor said.

A Penn State fumble led to a 27-yard field goal by K.C. Lopata and the Nittany Lions faced their largest deficit of the season.

After Royster's 44-yard TD romp, Michigan went on the march again.

Another near-flawless drive by the Wolverines, this one 78 yards, was capped by Minor's 1-yard plunge and it was 17-7 early in the second quarter. Minor had 117 yards on 23 carries

Even Penn State fans must have been wondering if the mere sight of those winged helmets had their team mystified.

Michigan had 185 yards in the first quarter, but only 106 the rest of the way.

"We really stayed calm, we knew Michigan was going to come in and try to play us hard, they do it every year," Royster said. "We just needed to adjust to it."

When Clark found Jordan Norwood for a 3-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left in the half to make it 17-14, it seemed as if Penn State had come through the worst of it and grabbed control of the game.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MICH
PSU
1st Downs1522
Total Yards291482
Passing89251
Rushing202231
Penalties3-273-20
3rd Down Conversions4-157-14
4th Down Conversions1-10-0
Turnovers11
Possession29:4130:19

Passing Leaders

MichiganC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Threet9/13846.500
Penn StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Clark18/311715.510

Rushing Leaders

MichiganCARYDSAVGTDLG
Minor231175.1236
Threet14503.6014
Penn StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Royster181749.7144
Clark9455.0218

Receiving Leaders

MichiganRECYDSAVGTDLG
Odoms33411.3028
Koger3268.7016
Penn StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Butler810513.1025
Green18080.0180

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMICHPSU
TD06:51Brandon Minor 5 Yd Run (K.C. Lopata Kick) 70
FG03:39K.C. Lopata 27 Yd 100
TD02:57Evan Royster 44 Yd Run (Kevin Kelly Kick) 107
SECOND QUARTERMICHPSU
TD13:13Brandon Minor 1 Yd Run (K.C. Lopata Kick) 177
TD00:23Jordan Norwood 3 Yd Pass From Daryll Clark (Kevin Kelly Kick) 1714
THIRD QUARTERMICHPSU
FG06:46Kevin Kelly 42 Yd 1717
SF04:39Nick Sheridan Tackled By Jared Odrick In End Zone 1719
TD03:04Daryll Clark 1 Yd Run (Kevin Kelly Kick) 1726
FOURTH QUARTERMICHPSU
FG14:56Kevin Kelly 32 Yd 1729
TD12:19Daryll Clark 1 Yd Run (Kevin Kelly Kick) 1736
FG05:20Kevin Kelly 20 Yd 1739
TD02:05Stephfon Green 80 Yd Pass From Pat Devlin (Kevin Kelly Kick) 1746