KJ Hamler caught two touchdown passes from Sean Clifford, and No. 7 Penn State remained unbeaten by holding off No. 16 Michigan 28-21 at University Park, Pa. on Saturday.
Clifford passed for 182 yards and three touchdowns and ran for the Nittany Lions’ other touchdown. Hamler caught six passes for 108 yards for Penn State (7-0 overall, 4-0 Big Ten).
Zach Charbonnet rushed for 81 yards on 15 carries and scored twice, while Shea Patterson passed for 276 yards for the Wolverines (5-2, 3-2).
Charbonnet’s second 12-yard touchdown run of the game pulled the Wolverines within 21-14 late in the third quarter. That finished off an eight-play, 65-yard drive.
Hamler got behind a safety and hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from Clifford with 13:14 remaining to restore Penn State’s two-touchdown advantage.
Patterson’s 1-yard plunge with 8:48 left cut the Nittany Lions’ lead to seven. That capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive that included a 35-yard pass from Patterson to Ronnie Bell.
Michigan drove inside the Penn State 5 on its next possession but couldn’t convert on fourth down as Bell dropped a pass in the end zone.
Hamler picked up a first down on a third-down carry to clinch the Nittany Lions’ victory.
Penn State led 21-7 at halftime.
Clifford’s 17-yard pass to tight end Pat Freiermuth accounted for the first score. That touchdown was set up by Clifford’s 37-yard hookup with Jahan Dotson.
The Nittany Lions increased their lead to double digits on the opening play of the second quarter. Clifford extended the ball and scored on a 2-yard run to cap a 64-yard drive. Ricky Slade’s 44-yard scamper set up that score.
Patterson was picked off in Michigan territory by Tariq Castro-Fields, leading to Penn State’s next touchdown. Hamler lined up in the slot and beat one-on-one coverage from 25 yards out on Clifford’s second touchdown pass.
The Wolverines finally responded with a 75-yard drive, capped by Charbonnet’s 12-yard run. The play was immediately preceded by a pass interference call against Penn State.
—Field Level Media