PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – This is one you are supposed to win. Even when on the road, a game like this is there for the taking. Your host and opponent is struggling. The calls for the head coach to lose his job grow louder by the day. The starting quarterback gets hurt in the middle of a close game and leaves for a few series to boot.
You have to capitalize on situations like this.
It’s something James Franklin’s Penn State Nittany Lions could not.
In front of another sellout crowd at the Big House in Ann Arbor, the Michigan Wolverines clawed and scrapped their way to an improbable win over Penn State.
Matt Wile kicked a 37-yard field goal with 11:24 remaining, and Michigan’s defense stuffed Penn State in the second half as the Wolverines held on for an 18-13 victory to snap their three-game losing streak Saturday night.
For one night, Brady Hoke can breathe as he won a much needed Big 10 game in front of the faithful.
Michigan starting quarterback Devin Gardner missed two series late in the third quarter with a left foot/ankle injury, and backup Russell Bellomy filled in. Michigan tied the game on Bellomy’s first series, which began with ideal field position after Jourdan Lewis intercepted Christian Hackenberg.
Michigan, with Bellomy in at quarterback, moved only one yard on the next series. With so many key pieces missing on offense due to injury, Gardner knew it was imperative to get back in the game. After he received medical clearance, he returned early in the fourth quarter.
“After the two drives I sat out, I told them I’m going in next drive,” Gardner said.
He led the Wolverines on a field goal drive that broke a 13-13 tie and helped Michigan win.