Run and Shoot: Postgame Thoughts

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Postgame Thoughts

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After Michigan held Penn State to a field goal with 6 minutes left, it was up to the offense to try and run off a little clock to preserve the lead. And it did, gaining two key first downs before punting with 1:34 to go in the game. The first first down was key, as Mallett avoided a rush on 3rd-and-11 and bought enough time for wide receiver Greg Mathews to come open across the middle.

After the Wolverines punted, Penn State had one shot to drive down the field for a game-winning touchdown. But defensive end Brandon Graham pressured Morelli into two consecutive incompletions to start the drive, and safety Jamar Adams broke up the 3rd and 4th-down attempts to preserve the 14-9 victory.

Player of the Game: Mike Hart. It couldn't be anyone else after this performance. Hart had an insane 44 carries, and he gained 153 yards and a touchdown on them without wearing down. He was sick all week and almost had to leave the game because of injury in the 4th quarter, but he gutted it out and brought his team to a win.

Play of the Game: Driving deep into Michigan territory, Scott fumbled the ball and Brandon Graham recovered on the Michigan 11-yard line to kill Penn State's drive, which started at their own 19.

Michigan re-asserted itself near the top of the Big Ten with this win. Although the score was close, the Wolverines dominated the No. 10 Nittany Lions all day, and proved to the nation that the first two games were more fluke than reality. And with two should-be-wins coming up (Northwestern and Eastern Michigan), Michigan will have a chance to get its feet under it again before the tough close of the schedule. Penn State looked good on defense, but the Michigan offensive line was too much for the Nittany Lions to handle, and the Wolverine defensive line found itself in the Penn State backfield all day long. Morelli seemed rattled early and never got settled, and the final drive was indicative of his discomfort.

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