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Thank You Seniors: Michigan Defeats Penn State, 28 to 16

The seniors, the heart and soul of this team, put it all on the field today. Their efforts unfortunately came a little short.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

On a day where Penn State had to play a perfect game, they did the best they could to come out with a win. This time, their best was not enough. Another slow start by Penn State saw 56-yard run by Saquon Barkley on the opening drive lead to only 3 points. Michigan's defense continued to give the offense fits from there on out, and the Nitttany Lions had to fight tooth and nail for every yard.

Michigan continued to find success on offense with Jake Rudock, who, aside from one interception thrown, managed to carve the secondary for big play after big play. The running game was pedestrian, unlike many of Michigan's other games, but they did just enough to keep the offense on the field.

Three Key Takeaways

1) Penn State could not convert. The Nittany Lions had three opportunities in the red zone, with first and goal on each opportunity. Each time, the team came away with three points. This was the difference between a 28-16 Michigan lead late in the 4th quarter and a would be 28-28 tie.

2) Maybe the defense is human, after all? Without Carl Nassib and Jordan Lucas, the defense allowed big play after big play, many leading to touchdowns on Michigan's side. When Penn State scored a touchdown late in the first half go make the game 10-7, Michigan put up a 70-yard scoring drive to go up 14-10 with 51 seconds left in the half. Similar situation in the 4th quarter, after Penn State scored a field goal to make the it a one-score game, Penn State allowed a 5-play, 40-yard score off a 55-yard return by Jourdan Lewis that all but sealed the game.

3) Thank you seniors. Although the game didn't turn out they way they would have wanted, there's no denying that the seniors (and the key few juniors we who may not be returning) gave it all they got, and played one heck of a game. Hat's off to you. Penn State is where it is today because of you. Don't you ever forget that. Our gratitude will be with you always.

Looking ahead

Penn State finishes the season against Michigan State on November 28. Maybe we'll see a last hurrah from this gruop of guys.