Michigan Football: 5 things we learned in win against Penn State

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports /

Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan football team notched a huge win Saturday at Penn State and here are five things we learned about the Wolverines. 

When Michigan football surrendered an eight-point lead then promptly fumbled the ball back to Penn State well within scoring range, you can’t blame fans for having a crisis of confidence.

Sure, Michigan closed out Nebraska earlier this season, but that was a little different situation. And Nebraska is certainly a different challenge than Penn State, which has one of the best defenses in the Big Ten.

I’ll put Michigan’s defense up against anyone in the Big Ten. It has flaws, sure. But the Wolverines have two freakish pass rushers and they harassed Sean Clifford from start to finish.

Yet, that wasn’t the big story and we’ll get to it with five things we learned from the win at Penn State.

This team is different

The Wolverines have found ways to lose games like this so many times, you could see it happening again.

Only this team is different.

Cade McNamara said so after the game and U-M proved it on the final drive.

His game-winning touchdown to Erick All wasn’t an eye-opening pass but it on the money. He led him perfectly and it was a classic crossing route like the one Tom Brady torched Penn State with 22 years ago.

Michigan went back to the bag on Saturday. All said he was less than 100 percent but his 80 percent was still good enough to find the end zone on an iconic 47-yard touchdown.

Hassan Haskins played his role on that drive too and set the tone throughout the day. Then McNamara and All finished it.

The defense then stopped Penn State and the offense ran out the clock. Instead of finding a way to lose against a good team, Michigan found a way to win.

And now it’s 9-1 and still alive for the Big Ten East title. Maryland is up next and if the Wolverines beat the Terps and Ohio State beats Michigan State, The Game will be for the Big Ten East.

That would be an impressive achievement, considering most thought this team might only win seven or eight games this season.

This is the real Michigan and the real Jim Harbaugh.

It wasn’t a win over Ohio State or Michigan State, but it was a top-25 win on the road and it was significant.

It was also the best evidence yet that this team truly is different.