Penn State rolls during whiteout against MI

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And yes, PSU coach James Franklin got his first win against MI, and specifically, Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh.

It comes down to this. Just like Penn State had a week off to prepare for a revenge game at home, Ohio State will be coming off a bye week to prepare for their own revenge game at home against the only team to hand them a loss in the regular season a year ago.

Penn State is atop the FBS in scoring defense (9.0 points per game), while MI leads the way in total defense (223.8 yards per game).

Moorehead got the best of his counterpart early on by mixing in a direct snap to Barkley, which worked out with a 69-yard touchdown run to get the game going. After a quick MI punt, Trace McSorley ran for 23 yards, then lofted a 35-yard pass to Mike Gesicki. The Nittany Lions posted season highs for points and yards gained by a MI opponent. Michigan, meanwhile, couldn't make the big plays with John O'Korn under center. Here is how to watch the Wolverines, plus a breakdown of key storylines and more. The Lions scored twice in the fourth quarter on the McSorley-to-Barklety pass and McSorlety's 9-yard run.

Barkley is the feature draw, a likely first-round pick and Heisman Trophy contender.

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A McSorley interception on a miscommunication with Gesicki on the next drive changed the flow of the game, as MI fought back and trailed just 21-13 at halftime. McSorley sparked the march with a 23-yard run and a 35-yard completion to leaping tight end Mike Gesicki to put the ball on the Wolverines 15. Thirteen months after Penn State lost to MI by 39 on the road in the Big House, it took less than a minute for a new tone in the series to be set: On the second play of the game, Heisman candidate tailback Saquon Barkley took a direct snap and burst past a confused Wolverines defense for a 69-yard touchdown.

Penn State has risen up the rankings and finds themselves in the number two spot in the country.

The Nittany Lions are good enough to run that three-game gauntlet, and this victory sets up a fantastic showdown with Ohio State next week.

And now we advance to what could be the game of the year in the Big Ten, with no disrespect meant to the fine folks in Madison, Wisconsin. Saturday's game, however, looms as a defensive struggle. That's the bridge the Wolverines couldn't overcome. The Wolverines return to the Big House next weekend for a matchup against Rutgers as they look to right the ship. MI had not allowed more than 278 yards of offense all season, and Penn State had 300 yards at halftime and 506 yards at the end of the game.

This Big Ten East race is just heating up. That's going to sting for a while, and it should.