Wolverines Fall to No. 13 Penn State in Rain-Soaked Affair

Oct. 24, 2009

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Score: #13 Penn State 35, Michigan 10
Record: U-M (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten), Penn State (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten)
Attendance: 110,377
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Oct. 31 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 3:30 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan football team fell to No. 13 Penn State, 35-10, on Saturday (Oct. 24) at Michigan Stadium, giving the Nittany Lions their first victory in Ann Arbor since 1996. PSU controlled the game with 396 yards of offense and held the Wolverines to 250, one rushing touchdown and one field goal. Temperatures in the mid- to high 40s and 15-25 mile-per-hour wind with light rain made the ball and field slippery and led to numerous dropped passes and miscues.

Senior defensive end Brandon Graham (Detroit, Mich./Crockett Technical) blocked a punt, assisted with a sack for a loss of eight yards and recorded seven tackles, including 3.5 for loss, in the contest. Junior/sophomore safety Mike Williams (Santa Yuez, Calif./St. Bonaventure) led the defensive effort with nine tackles and one pass break-up, while sophomore defensive tackle Mike Martin (Redford, Mich./Catholic Central) added eight tackles.

Senior superback Brandon Minor (Richmond, Va./Varina), who was rested last week in Michigan's win over Delaware State, led the offense in his return, rushing for 48 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Senior wide receiver Greg Mathews (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater) topped the receivers with seven receptions for 70 yards.

The Maize and Blue grabbed an early 7-0 lead, scoring the game's first touchdown to conclude an 11-play, 70-yard series that chewed up the first 3:49 of action. Sophomore slot receiver Martavious Odoms (Pahokee, Fla./Pahokee) collected a pass in the left flat from freshman quarterback Tate Forcier (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch), who finished the game throwing 13-of-30 for 140 yards in the air. Odoms dodged one defender before another brought him down at Penn State's two-yard line. Minor battled into the end zone two snaps later for his fifth touchdown of the season. The score marked the first time this season that the Nittany Lions have allowed a rushing touchdown.

PSU wide receiver Graham Zug hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass for the equalizer in the Nittany Lions' first drive of the game. They took their first lead of the contest in their next series with a field goal late in the first quarter, capping a 48-yard drive to make the score 10-7.

Michigan's defense stalled Penn State in its following drive. Martin and freshman outside linebacker Craig Roh (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) teamed up to tackle PSU running back Brandon Beachum, who got caught behind the center, for a loss of five yards. Roh followed up that play by sacking Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark for a loss of four, forcing the Nittany Lions to punt.

A Michigan miscue on a snap resulting in a safety, combined with Penn State's 60-yard deep pass down the middle for a touchdown, gave PSU a 12-point lead with 4:26 remaining in the first half.

Michigan's last possession of the half started in great field position at PSU's 39 following a stellar punt return. Forcier snuck in a spot-on pass to Mathews for a gain of 19 yards, moving the Wolverines into the red zone. Minor then powered 13 yards down the field, allowing fifth-year senior placekicker Jason Olesnavage (Ferndale, Mich./Ferndale) to connect on a 33-yard field goal. The teams headed to their respective locker rooms at half time with Penn State holding a 19-10 advantage.

The Nittany Lions opened the second half with a bang, padding their lead with another touchdown reception by Zug. Penn State went for the two-point conversion, but Michigan junior safety Troy Woolfolk (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles) broke up the pass attempt.

At the 6:24 point of the third quarter, freshman quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) fumbled the ball at the Michigan 22-yard line, putting Penn State in prime field position and the Nittany Lions capitalized, scoring a touchdown on their second snap of the drive to boost their lead to 32-10.

Neither team scored again until Penn State split the uprights on a 39-yard kick with 5:25 left in the game.

The Wolverines travel to Champaign, Ill., to face the Fighting Illini next Saturday (Oct. 31) at Memorial Stadium. The game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by ABC on ESPN.

Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423

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