ANN ARBOR, Mich. - With the bye week in the rearview mirror, the Michigan football team can fully focus its attention on Penn State.
It's the next stop on the "revenge tour," a phrase coined by defensive end Chase Winovich in reference to avenging losses from a year ago.
The Wolverines have already bulldozed through Wisconsin and Michigan State by a combined score of 59-20. Two teams that beat Michigan last season remain on the schedule: Penn State and Ohio State.
Although Michigan lost five games in 2017, the Penn State loss was perhaps the most painful. As the second loss of the season, it was the game that officially eliminated the Wolverines from College Football Playoff contention and ended any realistic hopes to compete in the Big Ten East Division.
It was also the only blowout loss of the season for Michigan.
Don Brown's defense surrendered more than 500 yards in the game, as quarterback Trace McSorley threw for 282 yards and ran for 76 yards and three touchdowns.
Penn State and Michigan are both battling to get back to Ohio State's level at the top of the conference, but this game typically hasn't been very close.
In Jim Harbaugh's first season with Michigan, he cruised past the Nittany Lions with a 28-16 win in Happy Valley. The following year, the Wolverines smashed Penn State, 49-10, at the Big House.
That blowout win likely kept Penn State out of the College Football Playoff despite winning the Big Ten title.
James Franklin got his revenge with a 29-point win last season, and he made it clear that game was personal.
With a 42-13 lead, Penn State got the ball back with 3:08 left in the fourth quarter. After picking up a pair of first downs to get the clock under 1:30, Franklin didn't run out the remaining time. He picked up another 14 yards to move the chains and then had McSorley snap the ball with 4 seconds remaining in an attempt to get into the end zone one more time.
Michigan stuffed Miles Sanders at the 6-yard line, but the message was sent: Franklin wanted to beat Harbaugh by more than just four touchdowns.
That memory will only add fuel to the fire that's already burning in Winovich and the Michigan locker room.
Penn State has won two straight against Indiana and No. 18 Iowa to rise to No. 14 in the AP Poll. This will be the highest-ranked team Michigan has played since the opener against then-No. 12 Notre Dame.
Will it be a fourth straight blowout in the series? Michigan is sure going to try.
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