Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Bill Belton (1) celebrates after running the ball into the end zone for a touchdown in overtime to defeat the Michigan Wolverines 43-40 at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

Penn State Outlasts No.18 Michigan in 4OT Thriller 43-40


In front of over 107,000 people on Saturday evening, Penn State grasped one of the biggest wins of the Bill O’Brien era as they were able to put away the 18th-ranked Michigan Wolverines after four overtime periods by a final score of 43-40, after RB Bill Belton scored from two yards out.

It was yet another example of how dangerous it is to play a Penn State squad with nothing to lose. Michigan came into the game with a 5-0 record, even after a couple scares from Akron and UConn this season, but they couldn’t dodge this Nittany Lion bullet .

Freshman QB Christian Hackenberg showed great signs of progression once again, as he finished the game 23-of-44 for 304 yards and three touchdowns. He was also able to sneak in the game-tying touchdown with 27 seconds left in regulation, the first rushing TD allowed by Michigan all season.

Hackenberg’s receivers stepped up in a huge way as well. Number two target Brandon Moseby-Felder hauled in two of the three Hackenberg scoring passes, one for 12 yards and another one for 24. Tight end Jesse James was able to grab the third early in the second quarter.

And once again, Allen Robinson showed us why he’s considered one of the best receivers in the land. While he did not find the end zone today, he can probably be credited with the most important play of the game.

With time running out and PSU down 34-27, Hackenberg dropped back and launched a pass near the Michigan end zone, a pass that Robinson was able to athletically get up in the air, pull the ball away from the defender and come down in bounds at the one, which would eventually set up the game-tying Hackenberg score.

The overtime periods were stories among themselves, as they saw both missed and blocked field goal attempts.

In the first extra period, Penn State’s Sam Ficken missed a 40-yard attempt, giving Michigan a chance to put the game away with one score. Well, on their ensuing attempt, Brendan Gibbons’ 40-yard try was blocked by Penn State. The second overtime saw the two kickers trade successful attempts. The third overtime again looked as if Penn State was handing the game back to Michigan, as Allen Robinson fumbled the ball–which was recovered by the Wolverines–on the first play from scrimmage. But, luckily for the Lions, Gibbons would go on to miss for the second time, this one from 33 yards out.

Overtime number four, the final one, saw Belton score the two-yarder after Gibbons knocked through a 40-yarder.

Coming off last week’s blowout loss to Indiana, this was a huge bounceback win for Penn State, and their head coach, Bill O’Brien, could not be happier about the performance from everyone involved:

 

 

The stronghold that Bill O’Brien has on this program, a feat that no one thought could ever be accomplished given what he had to step in to, has never been more evident than it was on this night.

Tags: College Football Michigan Wolverines Penn State Nittany Lions