Michigan 28 Penn State 16

Isaiah Hole/247 Sports

The dream continues.

For the Michigan Wolverines next week is more than "The Game." It is a chance. A chance at the Big Ten title game, a chance at Jake Rudock facing his former team, and quite possibly a chance at the College Football Playoff.

The chance would not be present however if it were not for a great team victory on Saturday for the Wolverines. 

Michigan defeated Penn State 28-16 with the Wolverine defense stepping up when needed in the redzone, a story that has held true the entire season.

After giving up a long run on the first drive to Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, the Wolverine defense held strong in the redzone and held the Nittany Lions to a field goal.

Rudock and company struck back quickly on the next drive, when Rudock connected with tight end Jake Butt on a 26- yard score to give the Wolverines the lead.

Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg gave the Nittany Lions the lead late in the second quarter on a 25-yard pass, but again the Wolverines stormed down the field and took the lead back before halftime on a Rudock pass to Amara Darboh.

The Wolverines would not give up the lead the remainder of the game, although it got close at the end. The Wolverine defense continued its bend but don't break mentality as they held the Nittany Lions to only field goals as they drove down the field late in the game.

De'Veon Smith sealed the victory for the Wolverines in the fourth quarter as he dove over a pile at the goal line for a one-yard touchdown run, his fifth rushing touchdown of the season, one shy of last years career high. 

Sione Houma also added a rushing touchdown for the Wolverines in the third quarter. 

Rudock continued riding his hot streak throwing for 256 yards and two touchdowns while also throwing an interception. Rudock is the first quarterback this season to throw for over 251 yards against the Penn State defense, and also the first quarterback in Michigan history to throw for over 250 yards in three consecutive games. 

The Wolverines continued to struggle running the football as they totaled only 87 yards on 30 carries in the game. Smith led the team with 39-yards on 13 carries. 

Jabrill Peppers saw a good deal of time on offense for the Wolverines. Peppers carried the ball five times for 19-yards, mainly runs between the tackles. 

The triple threat of Jehu Chesson, Darboh, and Butt were all equally productive on the day, as Chesson had a team leading 69 receiving yards while Darboh had 68, and Butt 66. The three combined for 16 of Rudocks 25 pass completions. 

The victory over Penn State is the fourth team Michigan defeated this season that is bowl eligible, and should help the Wolverines in the AP Poll Sunday, and the College Football Playoff Ranking on Tuesday night.

The arrival of head coach Jim Harbaugh has helped the Wolverines put the road woes to the side, this is the first time the Wolverines have finished undefeated in conference road games since the 1997 season. What happened that season....? 

The Wolverines will return home next week to face the Ohio State Buckeyes. If Ohio State is able to defeat the Michigan State Spartans at home this week, the game between the Wolverines and Buckeyes will decide the winner of the Big Ten East Division, and will go on to face the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. 

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