The Wolverine

November 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 21 of 67

22 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2022 Jim Harbaugh isn't thinking along those lines, of course. He's using Michigan's own bye week to plot strat- egy for the stretch run, beginning with hosting Michigan State on Oct. 29. He's doing so with a smile, given the Wolverines' thrashing of Penn State. "It was a good game," Harbaugh said, after his team blasted James Franklin's crew. "I thought the team made a real positive statement today. Call it a statement game? OK, call it a statement game. Then we're moving on to Michigan State." With the Spartans (3-4, 1-3), Rutgers (3-3, 0-3), Ne- braska (3-4, 2-2) and Illinois (6-1, 3-1) on the docket be- fore the Buckeyes, a Michigan loss would be considered a major upset, except perhaps against the resurgent Illini. Meanwhile, Penn State discovered it wasn't quite ready for the showdown to determine the other top team in the Big Ten. Blue White Illustrated, a publication and web site covering Penn State, noted the Nittany Lions weren't ready for "big-boy ball." It noted: "Penn State head coach James Franklin set GREATEST THREATS The Picture For Michigan Grows Clearer Graduate student edge defender Taylor Upshaw and the Michigan defense effectively dropped Penn State from the ranks of challengers in the Big Ten East — barring an unlikely Nittany Lions upset against Ohio State Oct. 29. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL BY JOHN BORTON M ichigan's resounding 41-17 win over Penn State sent a message across the Big Ten. It might be a Big Two once again. The Wolverines (7-0 overall, 4-0 Big Ten) de- stroyed the Nittany Lions, putting up 418 yards on the ground and outscoring Penn State 25-3 in the second half. Penn State came in undefeated and slid back to 5-1, 2-1, with a showdown against the other beast of the Big Ten East coming up quickly. That's Ohio State, of course. The Buckeyes sat back and watched the action while Michigan put Penn State away. OSU enjoyed its bye weekend, af- ter racking up a 6-0, 3-0 slate through the season's first six weeks. If the Buckeyes win at Penn State on Oct. 29, more than a few will be looking down the road at another Michigan-Ohio State battle for the Big Ten East and the chance to head for the Big Ten Cham- pionship Game in Indianapolis.

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