UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State football fans could not have scripted it any better: a “White-Out” record crowd of 110,823, a perfect October night and a Nittany Lion team which came ready to play after a bye week.
The dynamic junior duo of running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley jump-started Penn State to a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game and the Nittany Lion defense was again dominant, the result a 42-13 thrashing of Big 10 rival Michigan. The win avenged a 49-10 loss at Michigan a year ago, the last regular season loss for the now 7-0 Nittany Lions.
Barkley started the show when, on the second play from scrimmage, lined up in a “wildcat” formation and took a direct snap ending in a 69 yard score. Just moments later he added a 15-yard touchdown run on the way to 121 yards rushing. It was part of a 506 yard offensive onslaught against the usually stingy Michigan defense; giving up 223 yards per game coming in to Beaver Stadium.
McSorley ran for three touchdowns and Barkley contributed two on the ground plus a 42-yard pass from McSorley which made the score 35-13 midway through the second half. McSorley finished with 87 yards on 11 rushes and completed 17-of-26 passes for one touchdown and one interception.
Michigan falls to 5-2 on the year, 2-2 in the Big 10. No. 2 Penn State is 4-0 in conference play and goes to Columbus next Saturday, Oct. 28 for a showdown with Ohio State (6-1; 4-0). The Buckeyes had a bye this weekend. Their lone loss came Sept. 9 at home to Oklahoma by a 31-16 score.
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