Seven Postgame Thoughts: Michigan 42, Penn State 7

By Bill DiFilippo on November 3, 2018 at 7:06 pm
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State and Michigan played something resembling a football game on Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines talked a lot about how badly they wanted to grind the Nittany Lions into dust, and wouldn't you know it, that's exactly what happened. Michigan walked out of the Big House with a 42-7 win that, somehow, was not as close as the score indicated. Here are some thoughts:

  • The Offense Did Not Have It: Above everything else, Penn State's offense had its worst game since, uh, the last time it took the field in Ann Arbor. Between the stout Wolverine defense, a running game that could never get off the ground, receivers that couldn't get open, and a starting quarterback who did not look like himself (hold this thought), the Nittany Lions were nearly shut out and gained 184 yards of total offense. It was, in every sense of the phrase, an ass kicking.
  • Bless This Defense: Michigan wanted to punch the Penn State defense in the mouth early on, and it was successful, as they managed to run the ball with ease to open the game. From there, the Nittany Lions settled in, taking some punches from the Wolverines but holding up pretty well. But as we've seen in games like this, the offense's inability to stay on the field and the opposing offense's desire to slowly wear the defense out led to an obviously tired unit taking the field to end the game. The most telling stat might be time of possession, as Michigan had the ball for nearly 37 minutes.
  • A QB Problem No One Saw Coming: While acknowledging that we won't know for sure until after James Franklin speaks (hell, we might not even know then), Trace McSorley looked like he was really struggling with his injured knee. Whether it was sliding before the first down marker or a bevy of missed passes he normally makes, namely one to DeAndre Thompkins that would have been a sure touchdown in the first half, McSorley looked off. Having said this...
  • Why? ...McSorley was benched in the third quarter for Tommy Stevens, who promptly threw a pick six on his first throw to make it 28-0 Wolverines. In response, McSorley came back in, was tackled at the end of the quarter, banged his knee, and was benched again. He then came back in after Michigan made it 35-0 ... and threw a pick after Nick Bowers couldn't reel in a pass that was just off. At this point, Stevens went in for the rest of the game.
  • Mistakes Abound: One of James Franklin's mantras is that each week is that each week is approached like the Super Bowl. You know, the 1-0 each week thing. However, each week, we're seeing mistakes that teams that do not play in the Super Bowl make. There are fumbles, there are dumb penalties, there are odd decisions with play calling, you know them all. The team is playing every week like they're looking past the Browns, not taking the field for the Super Bowl.
  • The Basketball Team Won An Exhibition Today In Morgantown: It was good.
  • There's An Election On Tuesday: Make sure you vote!
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