STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The No. 3 ranked Michigan Wolverines showed resilience, leadership, and toughness to steal a 24-15 victory against the No. 10 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in Happy Valley to improve to 10-0 on the season for the second year in a row.
It took everything and everyone from the entire university to overcome all of the off-the-field foolishness that occurred last week as they battled in their first game against a ranked opponent in 2023.
To start the day with such chaos and unwanted noise and to have none of it affect and or impact the men in maize on the field on Saturday (Nov. 11) was a feat of its own.
The win came less than 24 hours after the Big Ten suspended head coach Jim Harbaugh for the remainder of the regular season for his role in the alleged sign-stealing scandal by former recruiting analyst Connor Stalions who is under investigation by the NCAA.
The rules allegedly broken by Stalions, who resigned from his role with the team on Friday (Nov. 3) afternoon for allegedly violating the Big Ten’s Sportsmanship Policy, are scoffed at by the NCAA, as their bylaws indicate those actions as minor infractions.
The NCAA indicated on Monday (Nov. 6) that Harbaugh was not linked to any sort of sign-stealing, but Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti decided since he was under pressure from other schools in the conference that he needed to act swiftly without letting the due process run its course.
Teams in the Big Ten Conference were so worried about the men in maize’s competitive advantage with the sign-stealing allegations, but somehow, Petitti found it OK to suspend Harbaugh less than 24 hours before kickoff.
They also didn’t inform the team of their decision but instead waited for the team plane to take flight before allegedly leaking the information to media outlets, only for the team to find out once they landed of the decision.
Those decisions were why Michigan was so focused and motivated; they wanted to show solidarity with Harbaugh. They now have the Michigan vs. Everybody attire to match the energy they are feeling.
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is here in State College. Looks like an emergency tarmac meeting. pic.twitter.com/MQaRFBoW61— Ryan Parsons (@rjparsons9) November 10, 2023
There’s nothing better than being doubted and or your peers saying that you only had success because you cheated over the past two years.
Fans are considering the whole ordeal as a Fugazi witch-hunt, and it is doing nothing but placing a giant-sized boulder on the shoulders of the players and coaches at Michigan.
To emphasize that narrative on one the best college football teams in the country is doing nothing but self-motivating an already dangerous football team.
Teams look for motivation every year, but the narrative being spread around is doing nothing but lighting a fire for the men in maize as the game of football brings out emotions from the fanatics and galvanizes the players and coaches on the field.
“I want to thank the Lord, coach (Jim) Harbaugh, I love you man, this is for you,” said tearfully by interim head coach Sherrone Moore. “This win is for this university, the president, our athletic director, we got the best players, the alumni and the best university in the country. I love these guys, man. These guys did it.”
Blake Corum was the coach on the field, orchestrating a tough, hard-nosed fight to the game. He took a big hit early in the matchup, which left him bloodied and dazed, but he knew the importance of the game and how much of a victory would affect him and his teammates.
“This is what my team and I were made for,” said Corum. “The offensive line, I told them just to push, and I would push downhill. I’m so proud of Donovan (Edwards). I’m so proud of the tight ends, and J.J. (McCarthy), who got dinged up, but kept fighting. This team is full of fighters, and that is what I love about them. That is why I came back. I didn’t come back for stats or touchdowns, I came back for these guys, and I came back to win. I’m just so blessed.”
“We have to just be where our feet are and take everything in and just be together as one,” Corum said. “Coach Harbaugh has instilled in us what it’s like to be a team. He built a culture at the University of Michigan, and it’s a good one. So we just got to be where our feet are and just keep going and don’t change anything and be ourselves and love one another.”
The Wolverines brought the old-school Bo Schembechler physical style of Big Ten football on the road to Happy Valley. They ended the game carrying the pigskin 32 consecutive times without one single pass in the second half. They toted the pigskin 46 times for a combined 227 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.
Corum went off as he led the team in carries, rushing 26 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He had his longest run of the season of 44 yards, but his most impactful came in crunch time when he scampered up the gut and down the sideline for a 30-yard touchdown.
The defensive held the Nittany Lions to 238 total yards and 4-14 on third down, denying a couple of two-point conversions and a fumble recovery by Makari Paige, who chipped in with six tackles.
“Our mindset the whole game was just to play hard and do it for coach Harbaugh,” said Will Johnson. “Our mindset was just to play hard, play together, execute the calls that coach (Jesse) Minter displayed for us and just getting the ball back to the offense as much as we can and get them (Penn State) off of the field.”
The men in maize leading up to the game were said to have not played anybody tough on their schedule, and Penn State would be their first challenge.
To stack the deck even more, Michigan went into the matchup without their head coach, who had to stay inside the team hotel because he was suspended for the remainder of the regular season while in flight to Happy Valley, and they still came out victorious.
Many are already calling the victory one for the ages as the men in maize beat a top 10 ranked opponent on the road without Harbaugh while also showing their dominance by not throwing a pass after the 7:41 mark in the second quarter, which is unheard of in 2023.
“I expect nothing less from any of my Michigan Men,” Corum said. “We did this for Michigan. What are you going to do when your backs are against the wall? When you feel like everyone is against you, what are you going to do? Are you going to cower down? I was taught to stand on all 10 (Toes) and keep punching and fighting and keep going. I’m so proud of the university. I’m so proud of my guys, the coaches; coach Harbaugh this is for you. Everything that’s going on right now is just bringing us close together. I love my team. All praises to God.”
After the victory, Michigan advanced to 999 wins all time. They will look to be the first team in college football history to reach the 1,000-wins mark when they travel to Maryland to take on the Terrapins on Saturday (Nov. 18) at 12 p.m.
With the university filing a temporary restraining order on behalf of Harbaugh against the Big Ten, reports indicate that Harbaugh could be back on the sidelines during the team’s final two regular matchups, but only time will tell.