Penn State’s contest with Michigan was a showcase of some of the Big Ten’s top pass rushers. Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo combined for five sacks, and helped create misery for Penn State’s offense all afternoon. Fortunately, Arnold Ebiketie was able to do much of the same to limit the Wolverine’s offense.
Ebiketie was a one-man wrecking crew throughout the afternoon, consistently getting in Cade McNamara’s face and making things uncomfortable for him. It was one of those games where his impressive stat line came nowhere near telling the whole story. It was impossible to miss seeing #17 on just about every play.
The Temple transfer led the way with two sacks - and was sadly the only Nittany Lions to take down McNamara all game. His first sack came early in the second quarter, as Ebiketie got the quarterback to set up a third and 13. Unfortunately, Michigan would convert and eventually score their first points of the game later that drive.
His second sack was much more impactful, however, and came at just about the perfect time. Penn State had finally finished a drive and converted the two-point conversion to tie the game 14-14 with 7:35 left in the fourth quarter. Michigan quickly found trouble on the ensuing possession, with a one-yard loss on first down, followed by an incompletion on second down. Ebiketie took full advantage of the obvious passing down, coming off the edge to throttle McNamara, knocking the ball loose that was recovered by defensive tackle Derrick Tangelo at the Michigan 24 yard line.
A few plays later, Jordan Stout connected on a 31-yard field goal to give Penn State a 17-14 lead. The momentum seemed to be fully in Penn State’s favor as they looked to close things out to earn a victory over the #6 team in the nation.
Unfortunately, the last 5:55 of the game did not go Penn State’s way, and the spectacular momentum-shifting play didn’t clinch the victory after all.
It was still a fantastic showcase for Ebiketie’s immense skillset, who also finished tied for third on the team with seven tackles.