Penn State gets past Michigan Wolverines, 28-21

Michigan running back Hassan Haskins, top center, is tackled by Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, bottom, during the first half in State College, Pa., on Saturday. (AP photo)


The Associated Press

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After a deep ball bounced off his hands, KJ Hamler pulled Sean Clifford aside and told his quarterback he owed him one.

It didn’t take long for Hamler to make it up to him.

The speedy wideout burned the Michigan secondary two quarters later and hauled in a perfectly thrown 53-yard touchdown pass to help propel No. 7 Penn State to a 28-21 win over No. 16 Michigan on Saturday.

Clifford wasn’t surprised to see the nearest Michigan defender nearly 10 yards behind Hamler, who finished with six catches for 108 yards.

“I know KJ’s fast enough to get to that weakness in their defense every single time,” Clifford said.

And the first-year starter is getting better at finding him down the field.

Clifford hit Hamler on a 25-yard pass to start the scoring, hooked up with tight end Pat Freiermuth for a 17-yard touchdown and ran for a 1-yard score to pace Penn State’s offense.

The Wolverines battled back from a 21-7 halftime deficit and with just over two minutes to play, had a chance to tie the game on fourth-and-goal from Penn State’s 3. But Michigan wideout Ronnie Bell dropped a potential tying touchdown with Penn State safety Lamont Wade playing tight coverage.

“That stop was huge,” Penn State coach James Franklin said.