History of Michigan vs Penn State Football

All-time series

Michigan leads the all-time series 14-8. These two schools have played every year from 1993-2018 (with the exception of 2003-2004 and 2011-2012).

First meeting

Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993, which led to the first ever meeting between them and Michigan. This game was huge. Michigan was ranked 18th and came to State College for the 1,000th football game in Penn State’s history. Penn State was 5-0 ranked 7th and Michigan was 3-2 and ranked 18th.

Penn State’s offense consisted of QB Kerry Collins, RB Ki-Jana Carter, and WR Bobby Engram. Michigan’s offense consisted of QB Todd Collins (no relation to Kerry), RBs Tyrone Wheatley and Tim Biakabutuka, and WR Amani Toomer.

Recent History

2013 – This game was wild, and was one of the games of the year in the Big Ten and college football as a whole. Penn State won 43-40 in FOUR overtimes. Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg threw for over 300 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. 2 TD passes went to Brandon Felder and 1 to TE Jesse James. For Michigan, QB Devin Gardner threw for 240 yards (3 TD) and ran for 121 yards. Devin Funchess caught 4 passes (2 TD) and 112 yards.

The big takeaway is Penn State WR Allen Robinson, who made an epic catch in the 4th quarter, got an equally epic tattoo to commemorate the moment.

The overtime drive chart is something else..

  • OT1 – Both teams missed 40 yard field goals
  • OT2 – Both teams made field goals (tied at 37-37)
  • OT3 – Penn State fumbled on the first possession and, with a chance to win, Michigan missed a 33 yard field goal
  • OT4 – Michigan made field goal; Penn State ended the game with a 2 yard TD run by Bill Belton

2017 – The last time Penn State won and the last time these teams met in State College, as they will do on Saturday. Penn State won 42-13. Penn State came into this game ranked #2 and 6-0. Nittany Lions jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead, on just 4 plays. It took Penn State two plays on the game’s opening drive to score – a 69 yard Saquon Barkley touchdown run and a Barkley 15 yard run on the 4th play of the second drive. PSU QB Trace McSorley ran for 3 touchdowns and threw 1 to Saquon Barkley.

2018 – Last year, #5 Michigan won 42-7. McSorley had a really rough game, completing 5-13 passes for 83 yards and an interception. Michigan QB Shea Patterson, who returns for the 2019 game, completed 11 of 17 passes for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns (no picks). As a team, Michigan ran for 259 yards and 3 TDs.

Penn State’s wins

Penn State got their first win against Michigan in the second ever meeting in 1994. They won three straight (1994-1996). They later won 4 in a row, between 2008-2013. They won by scores of 46-17, 35-10, 41-31, 43-30. They won 3 i

About the Coaches

James Franklin has been the Head Coach at Penn State since 2014 and Jim Harbaugh has been at Michigan since 2015. Franklin is 1-4 vs Michigan, Harbaugh is 3-1 vs Franklin and Penn State.

Since Franklin got a head start, let’s compare the coaches’ track records since Harbaugh’s debut in 2015.

Since 2015 MichiganPenn State
Head-to-Head31
Overall Record43-1544-15
Big Ten Record 29-1028-10
Bowl Record1-31-3
NY6 Bowl Wins 0-21-1
Big Ten Championships01
Wins vs Ohio State01

2019 Season

Michigan is 5-1 (3-1) and Penn State is 6-0 (3-0)

Michigan’s wins are against – Middle Tennessee St (41-20), Army (24-21 OT), Rutgers (52-0), Iowa (10-3), Illinois (42-25). The one loss came at Wisconsin (35-14).

Penn State’s wins are against – Idaho (79-7), Buffalo (45-13), Pittsburgh (17-10), Maryland (59-0), Purdue (35-7), Iowa (17-12).

Common opponent has been Iowa. Michigan played Hawkeyes at home and Penn State played on the road, each of the last two weeks.

vs IowaMichiganPenn State
Points for1017
Points against 312
Yards For267356
Yards Against 261294
Defensive Turnovers40
First downs 1321
Third Down Conversions 3-138-18

NFL Alumni – Active Players

Among active NFL players, which unit would you take – Penn State offense or Michigan defense?

Michigan’s Defense

  • DL – Taco Charlton, Frank Clark, Brandon Graham, Chase Winovich, Ryan Glasgow
  • LB – Devin Bush, Rashan Gary
  • CB – Jordaun Lewis
  • S – Jabril Peppers, Jarrod Wilson

Penn State’s Offense

  • QB – Trace McSorley,
  • RB – Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders
  • WR – Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, DaeSean Hamilton
  • TE – Mike Gesicki, Jesse James
  • OL – Connor McGovern, Donovan Smith, AQ Shipley, Stefan Wisniewski, Ryan Bates

Michigan’s defense lacks help in the secondary, but Penn State’s QB is their biggest concern. With Clark, Gary, and Bush, Michigan would be equipped to try and stop the run.

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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