Saturday, October 24, 2009
Halftime analysis: Penn State-Michigan
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Quick analysis at halftime from Michigan Stadium, where No. 13 Penn State leads Michigan 19-10.
Turning point: Trailing by only three points, Michigan botched a sequence near its goal line midway through the second quarter. The Wolverines committed three penalties inside the 10-yard line and then took a safety when David Moosman snapped the ball through the end zone when quarterback Tate Forcier wasn't ready for it. Penn State received great field position on the ensuing free kick, and Daryll Clark hit Andrew Quarless for a 60-yard touchdown on the next play to give the Lions a 19-7 lead.
Best player in the half: Penn State's Clark is continuing his superb play since the Iowa loss on Sept. 26. The senior has picked apart a bad Wolverines secondary and completed 10 of 15 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
What Penn State needs to do: Continue to pound away with running back Evan Royster and take Michigan star defensive end Brandon Graham out of the equation. The Lions have struggled to stop Michigan running backs Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown and need to make the Wolverines' young quarterbacks win this game.
What Michigan needs to do: Things really look chaotic for Michigan's offense, and sequences like the one near the goal line just can't happen against a team like Penn State. The Wolverines are having success moving the ball, and Minor has really come to play today. On defense, Michigan can't afford major breakdowns, which have happened way too often this season.