Today is the twenty-first chapter in the Michigan vs Penn State football tradition. The teams have not played a lot over the years, but when they do it is usually a battle. This year’s contest is HUGE for both teams. Yes, there is a lot on the line tonight. It’s time to take a closer look at a Michigan’s history on this day. Then, we will zero in on the details of this very, very, very BIG game.
The Michigan Wolverines have played a total of eighteen games on October 21st. So far, Michigan’s record on this date is 16 wins, 2 losses and 0 ties. That’s an impressive winning rate of just over under eighty-nine percent (.888). However, they’re even better in conference play on this day. Check out the numbers below:
|Type Game||# of Games||Won||Lost||Tied||Win %|
Series History: Today’s game is the twentieth game in the fairly new Michigan vs Penn State football rivalry. This is the first time that these Big Ten rivals have played on the 21st day of October. Check out the series numbers below:
|Type Game||# of Games||Won||Lost||Tied||Win %|
Once again, history is definitely on Michigan’s side in this series, even when the game is played in Happy Valley. I like the fact that we have won sixty-percent of our road games against the Nittany Lions.
Here is a little more information about the Michigan vs Penn State football series so far:
In addition to thirteen wins over the Lions, Michigan players have had some outstanding performances against the Blue and White. Here are some notable Wolverine performances against Penn State in Beaver Stadium:
1) 10-16-1993 – Derrick Alexander scores on a 48-yard punt return. Tyrone Wheatley pounds PSU with 32 carries for 192 yards. Michigan wins 21-13.
2) 11-08-1997 – Chris Howard pounds the Lion defense for 120 yards on 22 carries. He ran for 1 touchdown and caught 4 passes for 41 yards. Michigan won the Judgement Day showdown in a 34-8 rout!
3) 11-13-1999 – David Terrell grabs 6 balls for 133 yards. Tom Brady completes 17 of 36 passes for 259 yards. James Whitley breaks up 5 passes on defense. Michigan wins 31-27.
4) 10-30-2010 – Denard Robinson rolls for 191 yards on 27 carries, but Michigan falls 31-41.
5) 11-21-2015 – Jake Ruddock completed 25 of 38 passes for 256 yards. Michigan wins 28-16.
So, some of Michigan’s greatest players have stepped up against Penn State. Obviously, some of our young Wolverines will have to have BIG games if they expect to defeat Penn State tonight. Who will it be?
I thought it would be good to look at this game from one more angle. Michigan has played a total of 16 games against #2 ranked teams. So far, the results are not good. Michigan owns a record of 3 wins and 13 losses when matched up against a second ranked team. The Wolverines only have one victory at home in eight games against #2 ranked teams. They are a little better on the road. Michigan has a record of 2 wins and 5 losses in #2 road games. Yes, the bad news is that the Wolverines have had trouble playing teams close to the top of the rankings. Of course, the last game against a #2 ranked team was at OSU. J.T. was short and we lost in overtime. Ugh! Hopefully, they can change that tonight!
Today. Michigan is the underdog today, that’s for sure. Penn State deserves to be where they are after six games. Michigan is lucky to be where they are after posting a record of 5 wins and 1 loss. I think there are a lot of similarities between this game and the first game in 1993. On paper, Penn State is the better team. The good news for Michigan fans is that Penn State has not faced a defense as good as Michigan’s. As usual, Don Brown’s “hitters” will keep Michigan in the game. However, Penn State’s defense has the edge over Michigan’s under-performing and inconsistent offense. I’ll give Michigan the edge on special teams. The Wolverines can definitely win this game, but the offense will have to show some balance and the “stupid” penalties must end. Jim Harbaugh still does not own a “signature” win against a highly ranked opponent. Hopefully, tonight is the night!
Michigan has a total of ten trips to Happy Valley since 1994. So far, Michigan has played pretty well at Penn State. Tonight’s game will provide the stiffest challenge that Michigan has faced this season. The Nittany Lions are for real and they really, really want to avenge their loss to Michigan last year. They have been preparing for this game for two weeks and should be READY for the Wolverines. Michigan’s defense will keep them in the game, but I don’t think the offense will do enough to earn a win today. The Wolverines have an outstanding record on this day in their football history, but it takes a “hit” today. Even though my Maize and Blue heart is hoping for an upset, my head says NO! I hate to say it, but Michigan comes up short in a hard-fought game – final score will read 24-13 in favor of Penn State! Ugh!