14 October 2006

Halftime: Michigan 10, Penn State 3

Penn State received the ball first. A.J. Wallace gave the Nittany Lions great field position with a 46 yard kickoff return, but Penn State was unable to move the ball much and Kevin Kelly missed a 47 yard field goal. Both teams traded the ball for the rest of the quarter but neither team was able to do much, and they played to a 0-0 tie at the end of the first quarter.

Michigan quarterback Chad Henne put together a second quarter drive that culminated with a 25 yard touchdown pass to Adrian Arrington to give the Wolverines a 7-0 lead. At 5:08 of the second quarter Garrett Rivas added a 23 yard field goal to put Michigan up by ten.

Penn State was finally able to move the ball in the final minutes of the half. The Lions benefited from a pass interference call on 3rd and ten, and then picked up a nice screen pass from Morelli to Tony Hunt and a nice catch over the middle by Jordan Norwood on another 3rd and ten. Once again, Penn State couldn't finish in the red zone on a 16 play, 81 yard drive and settled for a field goal to make the score 10-3.

Both teams have stuffed the run (both running backs have only 28 yards each). The difference has been Michigan's ability to put pressure on Anthony Morelli (4 sacks) and conversely Penn State's inability to put pressure on Chad Henne. Both quarterbacks were reasonably effective through the air: Henne was 10 for 18 for 127 yards and 1 TD. Morelli was 10 for 17 for 109 yards.

A fumble by Derrick Williams (giving up good field position) and a failure to turn the opening drive into points are the difference for Penn State. Fix the mistakes and the game is still in reach; continue the mental errors and it will be a long second half.
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