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Running Diary: Penn State vs. Michigan

Wanna relive last night? Ok!

Bobby Chen/Onward State

That happened, right?

No seriously, Penn State just beat Michigan in the best college football game I've ever seen? And I was there? Jesus Christ.

I need need to remember this. Together. Big Ten Network is replaying the game, and I'm picking it up in the fourth quarter. Let's do a running diary, straight from my living room. PENN STATE LIVES THERE.

4th Quarter

Let's set the stage before we jump into this: It's 21-10 at halftime. Everyone is going insane -- "we lost to Indiana last week and we're doing THIS to Michigan?" -- and it looks like Penn State is going to walk to a win. Then, the third quarter happened, a la the 2012 team. Michigan outscored Penn State in the period, 17-3. They took a 27-24 lead. It seemed like more. I sat next to Dan Vecellio for the entire game. I think we said three things to each other during the third quarter. Two of them were the phrase "God dammit."

14:47 -- Matt Millen made a great point (HEAD FOR THE BASEMENT AND LOCK YOUR DOORS), Allen Robinson didn't do anything for the first three quarters. While some people may have been terrified by that, I think it was a good sign. Other guys (Brandon Felder, Jesse James) stepped up, and I think PSU needed that more than it needed Robinson to go HAM.

13:09 -- Ficken missed a 47 yard field goal. I questioned my existence when that happened. I usually question it when I watch Trevor Williams in man coverage, but I especially questioned it then.

11:45 -- DaQuan Jones literally had Devin Gardner wrapped up, Gardner spins, avoids the pressure, and runs for one yard. I know that I hate him, but if he wasn't playing Penn State last night, I would have had fun watching Gardner. The dude can ball out.

10:28 -- Gardner touchdown to Devin Funchess. Glenn Carson was covering him. I don't know why. I think Wartman should always always be the LB that drops into coverage, but I digress. 34-24 Michigan.

??? -- Ficken made a FG. Big Ten decided not to show it on the replay. Mark Emmert must be in charge of the replay schedule, amirite? I'm not a sane human being.

3:28 -- They just showed the Amos pass interference. I know, we won. But I still want to punch something. Did they show John Butler losing his mind on TV? I thought someone was getting mowed down after that.

3:11 -- Every time the ref talks, he's getting booed like he wiped his tuchas with a picture of Joe Paterno. It was delightful.

1:42 -- They just showed a "Brendan Gibbons Lou Groza Award Nominee" graphic. lol

0:50 -- They just went to commercial. Hack his walking onto the field. Whoever called the game just mentioned that he's 18. Yep.

0:45 -- Allen Robinson's sideline catch. shhhhhhhhhh

0:37 -- Felder's insane catch that probably should have been picked. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH



0:13 -- Gardner's roll out to the right and throw to Jeremy Gallon was insane. It didn't mean anything, but it was insane. Gardner is either amazing or terrible and there is zero in between. If he weighed 375 lbs. and had the stamina of a piece of salami, he'd be the epitome of a Michigan Man.

0:03 -- Fat Michigan College Kicker missed the 52 yard FG. It was just short. I still can't believe he missed that. Overtime? Overtime.


  • Michigan's pressure on Hack in the first OT was superb. They did a great job going at PSU's line.
  • Ficken missed his second FG. Dammit. His face after he missed it made me sad.
  • "My dad was getting so pissed at Toussaint." -- My buddy whose dad went to Michigan. Sounds about right. Did Toussaint know that he's allowed to, you know, gain yards?
  • Fat Michigan College Kicker's kick is blocked. That blocked kick tho. Penn State made it look so easy that I now expect blocked FG's every time.

Second OT

  • Mike Hull's pass breakup on Gardner's throw to Jake Butt isn't getting the credit it deserves. Michigan gets the ball at the two if Mike Hull doesn't break that up. I really love Mike Hull, you guys. If I ever run into him at the Chick-fil-A on Atherton again, I'm buying him chicken.
  • $ammy Franchise made his double OT field goal. 37-37. Triple OT? Ok.

Third OT

  • "IS JAY PATERNO CALLING PLAYS?" - Dan's reaction to that end-around to Allen Robinson. I wasn't pissed about it: it worked out against Indiana, and at that point, you need to play to win. Take a chance or two, and hope one pays off, especially because Robinson had room to run if he held onto the ball. YOU PLAY. TO WIN. THE GAME. (NOTE: I was nowhere near this optimistic right after A-Rob fumbled)
  • Groza Award nominee/Fat Michigan College Kicker Brandon Gibbons had a straight away shot from 33 yards out and pushed it right. It made no sense. But sports. Although in his defense, everyone rushed towards the goalpost a la the Illinois game from a few years ago FOUR OH NINE. Four OT's? Yeah, why not?

Fourth OT

  • Also underrated: the delay of game call in the 4th OT. Everyone was going insane, and Gardner couldn't get the play off. It's a bit cliche to say nobody survives the white house, but, well, yeah.
  • Fat College Kicker made one from 40. 40-37 Michigan. I almost feel bad for him. Then I remember that he plays for Michigan. But seriously, the dude went 4-7. That's insanity.
  • 4th and inches in quad OT on Homecoming, down three, and Penn State goes for it/converts it with Belton. That may be the biggest "great or goat" call of O'Brien's career.
  • Hack's shot to A-Rob on 1st and 10 in the corner of the end zone was dropped. I'm still pissed A-Rob missed that one. We thought it was a TD. Ask Dan. I hugged him like the fate of the world depended on it after that. Then I saw the replay and *mouth farts*.
  • The 3rd down throw to Allen Robinson in the end zone was one of the ballsiest throws Hack will ever try. There was a window of like two inches, it was in that window, and it was either going to be a touchdown or a pass interference. He got the call. Thank you Based God.
A few parting thoughts:
  • We're going to be good once we're at full strength and bowl eligible. But you already know that.
  • Christian Hackenberg had a big boy game yesterday. I thought he seemed more comfortable when running the NASCAR offense, but that's just me. He showed that he can make all the throws, that he's more composed than Rob Bolden ever was, and that he is more confident than any freshman ever should be. I mean that lovingly.
  • Penn State can't stop running QB's. I'm terrified for Ohio State for that reason. Braxton Miller is probably going to shred the Nittany Lions. Let's not think about that right now.
  • Michigan fans have been really critical of the offensive play calling in OT. They ran it a ton and threw an occasional pass. So...they basically did exactly what Penn State did. The Nittany Lions just did it better.
  • Jordan Lucas had a nice game. As did Deion Barnes. It was good to get some positive play from those dudes. Especially Barnes. The guy didn't start and had his best game of the year.
  • Penn State is undefeated in games that I attend with Dan. I don't think that's a coincidence. <3
  • If I'm ever part of a crowd like last night's crowd again, I will be a happy man.
  • What time is it?
  • We are.