In the wise words of Michael Scott:
Penn State certainly had its chances in the first half. Garrett Taylor returned a blocked kick for a touchdown, but it was called back due to a block below the waist on Zech McPhearson. Two plays later, Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders had another handoff snafu, resulting in a fumble recovered by Michigan. The Wolverines took advantage of the turnover, going on a 10-play 48-yard drive to go up 14-0.
The Nittany Lions, once again, had another chance for points before the half. DeAndre Thompkins blew past a Michigan cornerback who stumbled at the line of scrimmage, but McSorley overthrew a streaking Thompkins, sending Penn State into halftime scoreless for the first time since its visit to the Big House in 2016.
I know what you might be thinking here: “Oh, so Penn State pulled things together, and made a game of it in the second half?”
Uh, not quite.
With a hobbled McSorley, Penn State’s offense could do little. Eventually trailing 21-0 late in the third quarter, the Nittany Lions went with Tommy Stevens, who proceeded to throw a pick six, putting the Wolverines up 28-0. From there, Michigan (rightfully) poured it, going up 42-0 before Penn State answered with a late Tommy Stevens touchdown, to make a 42-7 final.
What can be said? This was a flawed Penn State team that played with fire the entire year, and tonight, it caught up to them. Offensively, nothing went right — from a hurt Trace McSorley who clearly wasn’t the same, to the offensive line that had its worst outing of the year. While the defense actually played pretty well, it was a unit that was gassed by the middle of the third quarter, and just didn’t have the juice to hold on.
For tonight, I’ll say this: be angry. Losing in an embarrassing fashion is never fun, and unfortunately for Penn State, this is the first time in over two years that we sit here on the receiving end of one. But know this, too: the last time this program received a beating of this magnitude, it got better from it. Let’s hope, this time, the same thing happens.