No. 2 Penn State Runs Past No. 19 Michigan, 42-13
Record crowd of 110,823 fills Beaver Stadium; McSorley and Barkley each score three times
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In front of a raucous, Beaver Stadium-record crowd of 110,823, Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley scored three touchdowns each to lead No. 2 Penn State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) past No. 19 Michigan (5-2, 2-2 Big Tenin Big Ten football action Saturday night), 42-13.
Michigan entered the game boasting the FBS’ top total defense (223.8 ypg), but Barkley set the tone early, scoring two rushing touchdowns in the first five minutes, highlighted by a 69-yard touchdown on the game’s second play from scrimmage. He also helped put the game away in the fourth quarter, catching a 42-yard touchdown pass from McSorley. The catch gave him the yards necessary to become the first Penn State player and the fourth in Big Ten history to total 3,000 career rushing yards and 1,000 career receiving yards.
McSorley was ultimately responsible for four touchdowns, rushing for a career-high three scores, in addition to his fourth-quarter toss to Barkley. McSorley finished with 358 yards of total offense, as he connected on 17-of-26 passes for 282 yards and rushed for 76 yards on 11 carries.
The Nittany Lions outgained the Wolverines, 506-269, in total yardage. The points and yards allowed by Michigan’s defense were its most since 2015, while Penn State’s defense was relentless, with eight different players contributing to a season-high seven sacks.
Penn State led the game from Barkley’s first score until the end. Michigan battled back in the second quarter, cutting Penn State’s lead to one (14-13), but the Nittany Lions covered 75 yards on seven plays in 52 seconds to score before the halftime break for a 21-13 halftime advantage. Michigan was unable to score in the second half, while McSorley took over with a pair of rushing touchdowns and his touchdown pass to Barkley.
Penn State is 16-1 in its last 17 games for its best stretch since going 20-0 from 1993-95, and 7-0 at the start for the first time since starting 2008 at 9-0. The Nittany Lions have also won their last 13 games against Big Ten opponents for their longest conference winning streak ever.
- RB Saquon Barkley – Barkley totaled 176 all-purpose yards, with 108 yards rushing on 15 carries, 53 yards receiving on three catches and 15 yards on one kickoff return. Barkley rushed for two touchdowns and had one receiving, posting his 12th-career multi-touchdown game and extending his FBS-leading games with a touchdown streak to 14. Barkley is the first Penn State player with 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his career, and also the fourth Big Ten player to accomplish the feat. Barkley now has 3,329 rushing yards in his career, which is the most rushing yards by a Penn State player in his first three seasons.
- QB Trace McSorley – McSorley totaled 358 yards of total offense, throwing for 282 yards and a touchdown by completing 17-of-26 passing attempts and rushing 11 times for 76 yards and a career-high three touchdowns – the most by a Penn State quarterback since at least 1982. His touchdown pass marked his 22nd consecutive game with a touchdown throw. McSorley is now the fifth Nittany Lion with 6,000 career yards of total offense, moving up to fourth all-time at Penn State.
- WR DaeSean Hamilton – Hamilton helped move the chains, catching six passes for 115 yards. It was his seventh career 100-yard receiving game and second this season.
- LB Jason Cabinda – Cabinda finished the game one shy of his career high for tackles, tallying 13. He assisted on a pair of sacks and forced a fumble.
- RBs Karan Higdon and Ty Isaac – Higdon and Isaac accounted for Michigan’s lone touchdowns. Higdon gained 45 yards on 15 carries, while Isaac totaled 36 yards on six carries.
First Quarter (Penn State 14, Michigan 0)
Penn State jumped out to a 14-0 lead with a pair of quick strikes. On just the second play of the game after the opening kickoff, Barkley took a direct snap 69 yards for a touchdown. The Nittany Lion defense then forced a three-and-out, putting the offense back on the field at its own 32.
The Lions needed just four plays to find the end zone again, as McSorley scrambled on 2nd-and-5 for 23 yards to the 50, and then threw a 35-yard jump ball to Mike Gesicki at the 15. Barkley then found the end zone on the very next play.
Barkley totaled 102 yards on six carries for the quarter.
Michigan went three-and-out again and Penn State appeared poised for another scoring drive, advancing to the Michigan 22 on eight plays, but confusion between McSorley and Gesicki resulted in an interception, as Gesicki continued deep and McSorley threw to where Gesicki initially stopped. Michigan’s David Long intercepted the pass at the Michigan 16 and returned it to the 41, where McSorley forced him out of bounds.
Michigan drove to the Penn State 3 to set up first and goal before the quarter ended.
Second Quarter (Penn State 14, Michigan 13)
It took four tries, but the Wolverines were able to get into the end zone. On fourth-and-inches, Karan Higdon took a pitch around the left end and was able to get just inside the pylon for the score. Quinn Nordin’s extra point was no good though, and Michigan trailed 14-6.
After both teams traded three-and-outs, Penn State drove 54 yards on nine plays from their own 13 to the Michigan 33, but failed to convert on fourth-and-7 and turned the ball over on downs.
Michigan was able to drive the 67 yards for a touchdown on eight plays, with a 23-yard pass from O’Korn to Keoka Crawford to the Penn State 6. Penn State stopped Higdon for no gain on the next play, but Ty Isacc powered through the middle on the next for the score with 1:45 to go in the half.
However, Michigan left too much time on the clock, as Penn State drove 75 yards for a touchdown in less than a minute. After an incompletion, McSorley connected with Juwan Johnson for 12 yards and then Hamilton for 36 yards to the Michigan 27. Barkley rushed for 9 yards on the next carry but was dropped for a loss of 2 on the next an option pitch, setting up third-and-3. The Lions stayed aggressive though, finding Gesicki for 17 yards down the sideline to the Michigan 3.
McSorley called his own number on the next play, weaving through the linemen for a touchdown with 53 seconds remaining.
Third Quarter (Penn State 28, Michigan 13)
Penn State tallied the lone score of the third quarter, driving 80 yards on nine plays for a touchdown. On second-and-8 from the 22, Hamilton got the drive rolling with a slant, finding a seam for a 26-yard gain to the Penn State 48. McSorley then rushed for 13 yards for another first down to the Michigan 39. After gaining 10 more yards and a first down on two plays, Barkley was stopped in the back field on the next play for a loss of 4, but McSorley connected with Hamilton for gains of 11 and 9 yards on second and third downs, respectively, to the Michigan 13. McSorley then weaved his way through the Michigan defense on the next play and dove for the left pylon, scoring his second rushing touchdown of the game for a 28-13 lead with 5:31 to go.
Fourth Quarter (Penn State 42, Michigan 13)
Looking to pull back within a touchdown, Michigan erased a second-and-21 deficit with a 22-yard completion to its own 49 early in the final stanza. However, cornerback Christian Campbell found his way into the backfield and stripped the ball from O’Korn’s hand, and defensive lineman Robert Windsor was there to recover it for Penn State, setting up another touchdown drive.
Penn State took over on the Michigan 46, and after a 4-yard completion to Blacknall, Barkley broke free wide open down the right sideline, making a bobbling catch for a 42-yard touchdown reception and a 35-13 advantage with 13:11 to go.
Michigan was able to cross midfield on its next possession, but on fourth-and-11 from the Penn State 45, Kevin Givens was able to haul down O’Korn for a loss of 7 yards.
Penn State took over at the Michigan 48 and extended its lead for the final margin. A 23-yard completion to Brandon Polk and a 19-yard run by McSorley keyed the drive, and McSorley rushed in from 9 yards out for a touchdown.
PSU – 14:17 – TD – Saquon Barkley 69 yd Rush, 2 plays, 75 yards, 0:43, 7-0
PSU – 10:11 – TD – Saquon Barkley 15 yd Rush, 4 plays, 78 yards, 2:05, 14-0
MICH – 12:53 – TD – Karan Higdon 1 yd Rush (kick fail), 11 plays, 59 yards, 5:28, 14-6
MICH – 1:45 – TD – Ty Isaac 6 yd Rush, 8 plays, 67 yards, 3:20, 14-13
PSU – 0:53 – TD – Trace McSorley 3 yd Rush, 7 plays, 75 yards, 0:52, 21-13
PSU – 5:13 – TD – Trace McSorley 13 yd Rush, 9 plays, 80 yards, 5:24, 28-13
PSU – 13:11 – Saquon Barkley 42 yd Pass from Trace McSorley, 2 plays, 46 yards, 0:32, 35-13
PSU – 7:53 – Trace McSorley 9 yd Rush, 4 plays, 48 yards, 1:57, 42-13
Penn State will hit the road for its next two games, starting Saturday at No. 6 Ohio State, with the telecast set to start on FOX at 3:30 p.m.