Michigan Continues Dominance of Penn State

By Sam Ross, Jr. | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

Michigan Continues Dominance of Penn State


Sam Ross, Jr., Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The continuing nightmare that is Penn State's football series with Michigan added another installment Saturday.

This time the setting was Michigan Stadium, "The Big House," before 111,310, and the score was 14-9 in the Wolverines' favor. A football coroner would rule it death by self-inflicted wounds -- a couple of fumbles, some other missed opportunities.

It's a familiar story for Penn State (3-1, 0-1), which has lost nine consecutive installments in this series. The details change. The location changes. The end result is numbingly familiar.

This seemed to be the year the Nittany Lions would break the jinx. They came in at 3-0 and ranked No. 10 nationally. Michigan had won only once in three games this season.

It was a downtrodden-looking Penn State coach Joe Paterno who offered as a simple postmortem: "They played well. We didn't play well enough."

Paterno shrugged his shoulders a lot, and spoke in a hoarse whisper. Clearly, he'd expected better.

The difference this time was the Penn State players were available to discuss their disappointment, too. They'd been made off- limits to the media following the two previous losses to Michigan here.

The Nittany Lions' players had the same body language as their coach.

"It didn't turn out our way today," cornerback Justin King said.

The evidence this would be another frustrating day for Penn State began to roll in as early the Nittany Lions' second possession. Quarterback Anthony Morelli lost the ball on a scramble and Michigan recovered at the Lions' 10-yard line

"He came from behind and just stripped me of the ball," Morelli said. "I was trying to step up in the pocket, and he just made a great play. There are great players on the other side of the ball, too."

Freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett, making his second consecutive start for injured Chad Henne, scrambled 10 yards on second down for a touchdown and, at 9:35 of the first quarter, Penn State was behind to stay. …

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