The Michigan Wolverines came into Week 11 of the season with the No. 1 defense in the country, both in scoring and total yards. Penn State was right behind at No. 2 in total defense.
The Wolverines were so dominant that on Penn State’s second drive, the Nittany Lions got inside the 10-yard line by relying on Nick Singelton’s legs and eventually settled for a field goal. When Penn State handed the ball off to Singelton on 2nd and 1 from the six-yard line it was the first time an opponent had run a play inside the 10-yard line on Michigan all year.
After getting the first down on 3rd and 1, Michigan’s defense then faced its first, first-and-goal all year. Just a reminder, it’s Week 11.
Even without head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines, the Wolverines stayed calm with their backs against the goal line and forced Penn State into a field goal. The Nittany Lions’ defense has played well and James Franklin’s team leads 3-0 midway through the first quarter of this top 10 matchup.
Penn State’s offense came in ranked 67th in total yards per game and 91st in yards per play, but 10th in points per game. The Nittany Lions often convert on drives in the red zone, but Drew Allar could not connect with Dante Cephas on a fade ball into the right corner of the end zone, so Alex Felkins came on to give the 3-0 lead.
Despite its issues, Penn State is the best offense that Michigan has faced all season long. Last week, Purdue scored 13 points which was the worst performance by Michigan’s defense this year and just second game allowing double-digit points.