Penn State report card: Nittany Lions overwhelmed at Michigan

By Derek Levarse - [email protected] | September 24th, 2016 7:09 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Penn State’s road trip to face a top-five team was every bit as lopsided as expected.

No. 4 Michigan dominated the Nittany Lions on both sides of the line and strolled to a 49-10 win that felt more lopsided than even that score.

The Wolverines took a 28-0 lead into the half as they held a 260-50 edge in total yards at that point.

QUARTERBACK

Trace McSorley was hammered repeatedly for six sacks and rarely had time to do anything when third down rolled around. He didn’t turn the ball over until the final minutes of the game, but it wouldn’t have mattered regardless. GRADE: C

RUNNING BACK

Saquon Barkley remains a weapon against even elite defenses. At halftime he had 66 total yards while the rest of the team had minus-16 because of sacks. Getting him more involved as a receiver was critical. GRADE: B

WIDE RECEIVER

Granted the blocking wasn’t good enough to allow more than two deep throws all game but Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton lost one-on-one battles with Michigan’s excellent DBs. Both had one catch apiece. GRADE: D

OFFENSIVE LINE

Penn State was badly overmatched here from the first drive of the game, which featured a holding penalty and two sacks to set the tone for the afternoon. Not much to say here. GRADE: F

DEFENSIVE LINE

On the rare occasions where Penn State was able to lay a hand on Wilton Speight, the 6-foot-6 quarterback was able to slip out of sacks and keep drives alive. GRADE: D

LINEBACKER

Three Lions with experience at middle linebacker are now injured and a fourth was ejected in the second quarter. Michigan was able to attack the middle of the field all day long to exploit Penn State’s issues. GRADE: D

SECONDARY

Michigan didn’t need to take shots deep against a battered front seven, so there wasn’t too much pressure on this unit. Safeties Malik Golden and Marcus Allen made some plays and the DBs’ tackling was better. GRADE: B

SPECIAL TEAMS

Blake Gillikin continues to be a bright spot at punter, though his 61-yard boot from the back of his own end zone was an example of outkicking the coverage as Jabrill Peppers had a 53-yard return. GRADE: B

Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight (3) throws a pass toward tight end Ian Bunting (89), defended by Penn State defensive end Torrence Brown (19), in the first half of an NCAA college football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/web1_AP1626876612482220169241990631.jpgMichigan quarterback Wilton Speight (3) throws a pass toward tight end Ian Bunting (89), defended by Penn State defensive end Torrence Brown (19), in the first half of an NCAA college football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

By Derek Levarse

[email protected]

Reach Derek Levarse at 570-991-6396 or on Twitter @TLdlevarse


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