By Ralph D. Russo
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley cut through Michigan’s stingy defense, each scoring three touchdowns, and No. 2 Penn State emphatically avenged its last regular-season loss with a 42-13 victory against the 19th-ranked Wolverines on Saturday night.
Barkley set the tone the first time he touched the ball. He took a direct snap on the second play of the game and blazed 69 yards for a touchdown on his way to 161 yards from scrimmage that are a nice addition to his Heisman Trophy bid.
McSorley ran for three scores for Penn State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten), including a darting 13-yarder in the third quarter that made it 28-13 and led the record-breaking, white-out crowd of 110,823 at Beaver Stadium to sing along to “Sweet Caroline.” McSorley and Barkley combined for the knock-out blow, a 42-yard TD pass with Barkley easily burning linebacker Mike McCray and then making a juggling catch to increase the lead to 35-13 early in the fourth quarter.
Michigan came in allowing 223 yards per game and 3.68 yards per play. Nittany Lions went for 506 yards and 8.3 per play.
Penn State has not lost a regular-season game since getting trounced 49-10 by Michigan (5-2, 2-2) last season. That seems like a lifetime ago in Happy Valley, where the defending Big Ten champions look even better than last year.
Michigan: The Wolverines just don’t have the offensive playmakers to keep up with a team like Penn State, which gets chunks of yardage from Barkley, DaeSean Hamilton and Mike Gesicki. John O’Korn was 16 for 28 for 166 yards. He was sacked seven times and had a second-half fumble. If the Wolverines can’t win with a grinding running game and defense, they can’t win.
Penn State: The matchup between Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown — two of the best in the country — went to Moorhead. Penn State was successful attacking the edges of Michigan’s D and consistently got the one-on-matchups in the passing game that worked in its favor. The last time Michigan allowed as many points in a game was in 2015 against Ohio State.
Michigan: The Wolverines have Rutgers coming to the Big House and the Scarlet Knights have won two straight.
Penn State: The second game of a three-week stretch against ranked teams figures to be the toughest for the Nittany Lions, who travel to No. 6 Ohio State next weekend.
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