Today is the twenty-second chapter in the young 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. However, some of the games have been blow outs and others were much closer. In 007, Mario Manningham (photo above) caught the winning score from Chad Henne on the last play of the game. (Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
Once again, this year’s game is HUGE for both teams. Yes, there is a lot on the line today, especially for our Wolverines. It’s time to take a closer look at a Michigan’s football history on this day. Then, we will zero in on the details of this very, very, very BIG Michigan vs Penn State football game.
The Michigan Wolverines have played a total of eighteen games on the third day of November. So far, Michigan’s record on this date is 12 wins, 6 losses and 0 ties. That works out to a winning percentage of just over sixty-six percent (.666). Check out the numbers below:
|Type Game||# of Games||Won||Lost||Tied||Win %|
The Wolverines have played eight home games on this date and ten road games. Their home record is 7 wins, 1 loss and 0 ties. Michigan’s outstanding home record works out to a winning rate of just over eighty-seven percent (.875). So, history and the home field advantage favor the Wolverines today!
Here is a little more history about Michigan Football on this date.
Today’s game will be the first one that Michigan and Penn State have ever played on the third day of November. So far, the average score for a Michigan home game on the third day of November is 28.25 to 6.3. I will take a 22-point victory on Saturday – for sure!
Today’s game is the twenty-second game in the Michigan vs Penn State football series. Once again, this is the first time that these Big Ten rivals have played on the third day of November. Check out the series numbers below:
|Type Game||# of Games||Won||Lost||Tied||Win %|
Yes, history is on Michigan’s side in this series, even when the game is played in Happy Valley. The good news is that Michigan’s home record against PSU is very good. I like the fact that we have won seventy percent of our home games against the Nittany Lions.
Here is a little more information about the 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 Michigan Stadium:
1) 11-07-1998 – Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes (26-yards to Aaron Shea and 7-yards to Tai Streets). Anthony Thomas scored on a 1-yard run. Kicker Jay Feely kicked two field goals (18 and 49-yards) and also added three extra-points. Wolverines rolled 27-0.
2) 11-11-2000 – Drew Hensen threw two touchdown passes and Anthony Thomas and Chris Perry each ran for a touchdown. UM defeated PSU 33-11.
3) 10-15-2005 – Mike Hart ran for over 100-yards and scored a touchdown. Garrett Rivas kicked two field goals (35 and 47-yards). Chad Henne threw two touchdown passes to Mario Manningham – the second one was the game winner on the last play of the game! Michigan 27 and Penn State 25.
4) 9-22-2007 – Ryan Mallett completed 16 of 29 passes and threw a touchdown pass. Mike Hart ran for 153-yards on 44 carries and scored a touchdown. Michigan won again 14-9.
5) 11-21-2014 – Devin Gardner connected with Devin Funchess for a 43-yard touchdown and Matt Wile kicked three field goals (37, 42, and 45 yards). The defense added a safety. Michigan defeated Penn State 18-13 in the first conference night game at Michigan Stadium.
6) 9-24-2016 – Wilton Speight threw for a touchdown and Karan Higdon ran for two touchdowns. Michigan also scored four more rushing touchdowns (Hill, Smith, Evans and Isaac) for a total of six. Yes, Harbaugh’s team literally ran the ball down Penn state’s throat! Final score: 49-10 Michigan!
So, some of Michigan’s greatest players have stepped up against Penn State. Obviously, some of our favorite Wolverines will have to play very well if they expect to defeat Penn State today! Who will it be?
According to the betting line, Michigan is a 10.5 point favorite today. I agree that Michigan is the best team, but Penn State will come out hard against the Wolverines today. On paper, Michigan is definitely the better team. The good news for Michigan fans is that Penn State has not faced a defense as good as Michigan’s. I really believe that Trace McSorely will have a difficult day against Don Brown’s defense.
Michigan’s offense will continue to play well and Shea Patterson will make some more BIG plays. I also think that Karan Higdon will have another 100-yard game for the Wolverines.
If the Wolverines can stay away from the “dumb” penalties and get some points off special teams, it could be a rout!
Michigan has hosted Penn State ten times so far. The Wolverines have won seven of the ten contests since 1994. Today’s game will provide the stiffest challenge that Michigan has faced this season. The Nittany Lions have a better than average defense and their offense can be dangerous.
I believe that Michigan’s defense will be exceptional today. Trace McSorely will think he’s playing on Halloween because Don Brown’s defenders will be scarry and the offense will be very good! The Wolverines have been preparing for this game for two weeks and should be READY for the Nittnay Lions.
The first half will be close, but Michigan will pull away in the second half. Final score: Michigan 31 and Penn State 10.