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Nittany Lions Miss Opportunities, Fall to Michigan

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Jahan Dotson

In a game that had many ups and many downs, eventually, the bad outweighed the good for Penn State. The Nittany Lions lost a back-and-forth contest to Michigan, 21-17, falling to 6-4 overall and 3-4 in conference play.

Penn State got the scoring started with a field goal. The Lions drove the ball to Michigan’s two-yard line in their next possession, but a botched fake field goal attempted gave the Wolverines the ball back with the game still at 3-0.

In the second quarter, Michigan scored the game’s first touchdown when quarterback Cade McNamara capped a 15-play, 90-yard drive that took 7:30 with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson.

A Stout field goal with 31 seconds left in the half made it 7-6, and that’s how it stayed into halftime.

Getting the ball to start the second half, Michigan marched 80 yards in 3:10. McNamara hit Wilson in the end zone for the second time, and the Wolverines led 14-6.

Penn State had a chance to put up points in the third quarter, driving the ball to Michigan’s 25, but Stout’s 43-yard attempt hit the crossbar, and the Nittany Lions came away with nothing. It stayed 14-6 into the fourth quarter.

After driving into Michigan territory six times only to come away with six points, Penn State’s offense ended its war on the endzone with a two-yard touchdown pass on 4th and 2 from Clifford to Tyler Warren.

On the ensuing possession, Penn State’s Arnold Ebikete hit McNamara and forced a fumble, which Derrick Tangelo recovered at Michigan’s 16. Michigan’s defense forced a field goal, which Stout knocked through to give Penn State its first lead of the second half.

On Michigan’s next possession, however, McNamara hit tight end Eric All for a 47-yard score that put Michigan back in front. Penn State went four-and-out on what wound up being its last drive of the day, and the Wolverines left Happy Valley with their hopes for a Big 10 championship and College Football Playoff birth alive.

For Penn State, Sean Clifford went 23-43 for 205 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. McNamara completed 19-29 passes for Michigan and threw for three scores without a pick.

Haskins gained 156 yards on 31 carries for the Wolverines and added 45 yards receiving. For Penn State, Keyvone Lee rushed 20 times for 88 yards.

Jahan Dotson caught nine passes for 61 yards and Parker Washington led all receivers with 92 yards on four catches.

Penn State will look to get back to .500 in conference play next week when it hosts Rutgers at Beaver Stadium. Kickoff is at noon.

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