Michigan vs. Penn State: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Wolverines

Aaron Siegal-EismanFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2013

Oct 5, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Blake Countess (18) receives congratulations from safety Jarrod Wilson (22) and cornerback Courtney Avery (11) after scoring on a interception return in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) defeats No. 18 Michigan (5-1, 1-1) 43-40 in quadruple overtime at Beaver Stadium. 

Final: Penn State 43, Michigan 40 (4OT)

For the full box score, check out NCAA.com

Game analysis for the Michigan Wolverines

Pass Offense: Michigan's Devin Gardner improved in the second half and made some adjustments after a poor first-half performance. The junior ended the game 15-for-28 with 240 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Gardner must improve in the coming weeks.

Run Offense: The Wolverines running backs were stopped on numerous occasions throughout the game, but Gardner was able to find open space. Michigan's two backs only ran for 28 rushing yards, while Gardner had 121 yards. 

Pass Defense: Michigan's secondary improved in the second half, but safety Jarrod Wilson was called for pass interference at a crucial time in the game. The secondary looked good in overtime, until Penn State's last drive.

Run Defense: The Wolverines defense did a very good job of slowing down a quality PSU run game. Michigan only allowed 86 rushing yards on 44 carries. Taking away the run for most of the game really challenged the Nittany Lions on offense. 

Special Teams: Kicker Brendan Gibbons hit four field goals in the game, but missed two that would have won the game for the Wolverines. Gibbons missed a 52-yard field goal at the end of regulation and a 33-yard attempt in the third OT. 

Coaching: Michigan's coaching staff made some very good decisions in the second half, but was too conservative in overtime. 

Oct 12, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Jordan Lucas (9) intercepts the ball during the first quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

First-Half analysis for the Michigan Wolverines

Pass Offense: Michigan's Devin Gardner threw 6-for-12 for 88 passing yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in the first half. The junior is having a difficult time with the PSU secondary and getting it to his receivers.   

Run Offense: The Wolverines ground game hasn't had much success through the first two quarters. Gardner leads the team with 47 rushing yards on 11 carries, but the two running backs have only combined for nine yards on 12 rushes. 

Pass Defense: Freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg has thrown quality passes to a variety of receivers. The surprise thus far is that Allen Robinson only has one catch. Wide receivers Brandon Felder and Jesse James have combined for 87 receiving yards and three touchdowns. 

Run Defense: While the Michigan pass defense is having problems, the run defense has stopped the PSU running backs. The Nittany Lions combined for 38 rushing yards on 17 carries (2.2 yards per carry). The front seven must continue to stop Penn State's run game. 

Special Teams: The Wolverines' special teams players have done a good job of holding PSU to minimal kick and punt returns, but Michigan needs to have better returns.

Coaching: Michigan's coaching staff needs to give their secondary a pep talk at halftime. Michigan must have a better second half if they are going to come away with the W.