Use of run baffling; Mich. QB persisted

Posted: September 24, 2007

With Michigan susceptible to the pass, many expected Penn State to come out firing. But on its first two plays, it was Austin Scott off left guard and fullback Matt Hahn off right guard. At the half, pass calls slightly favored the run, 16-13.

"You don't go in there with the idea you're going to throw the ball 100 times or 40 times," coach Joe Paterno said.

With the Lions stacking the line against Michigan running back Mike Hart (44 carries for 153 yards), freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett was able to complete some key third-down passes. The two most pivotal came on the Wolverines' final, clock-milking drive. For the game, Michigan was 10 of 18 on third-down conversions.

There apparently was some confusion as to whether Penn State could have challenged Hart's 1-yard fourth-quarter touchdown. Paterno said after the game that he had already used up the Lions' one challenge on either Scott's fumble or a Jordan Norwood fumble that was overturned. But defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said Penn State had not used up its lone challenge.

Redshirt freshman running back Evan Royster saw his first action with the first team after Rodney Kinlaw broke off a long 38-yard run. He had one carry for one yard. However, with Scott sitting, Royster had trouble handling his blocking duties. "Sooner or later, you got to play him," Paterno said.

- Jeff McLane

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