Inside the Box Score: The key stats from Penn State’s loss to Michigan

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Penn State was in for a tough battle with the Michigan Wolverines in Week 11, and it showed. Sean Clifford was under stress from the start of the game until the bitter end against the Wolverines defense, and Keyvone Lee made a push to gain 100 yards on the ground after his big performance against Michigan a season ago. But Penn State’s efforts came up short at home as Michigan left Happy Valley with a 21-17 victory to keep their Big Ten East Division hopes, and College Football Playoff hopes, in front of them coming down the final stretch.

Here is a look at some of the key players and stats from Penn State’s loss to Michigan in Week 11.

Penn State Offense

Nov 13, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Rod Moore (19) tackles Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Parker Washington (3) during the first quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Clifford: 23/43 205 yards a touchdown

Clifford had a solid game today against a top six defense in College college football. When he is not on his game, the rest of the offense Cancel falls apart. But that was not the case today. His performance kept Penn State close throughout the majority of this game.

Keyvone Lee: 20 carries for 88 yards

Penn State’s run game has been inconsistent all season. However, Lee showed lots of promise today. He had a Nice second half and showed tons of burst and acceleration out of open holes. If he keeps this up, Penn State’s offense could have a strong finish to the 2021 season.

Jahan Dotson: 9 receptions for 61 yards

Dotson is coming off career-high numbers from last week at Maryland. He still played right where he left off today against Michigan. Sure, he wasn’t the top receiver today. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Datson still proved why he is worthy of hearing his name called in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Parker Washington: 4 receptions for 92 yards

This is Washington’s second-best performance of the season. One more players of the receiving corps step up than just Dotson, that is a complete change of momentum for the Nittany Lions.

Penn State Defense

Penn State’s defense showed a lot of production today. This was a game where the Nittany Lions did not have to rely on them for the entire game. The team showed up on both sides of the ball. Defensive end Arnold Ebiketie is continuing to rise his way of draft boards, while the secondary prevented any big plays from happening throughout much of the game today (until Michigan’s go-ahead drive late in the fourth quarter).

Michigan Offense

Cade McNamara: 19/29, 217 yards and 3 touchdowns

Cade McNamara moved the ball well today. This game came down to the wire, but he still did what he needed to do to lead the Wolverines to a victory. Michigan currently sits at six and hopes to keep their playoff hopes alive. If McNamara continues this performance, that will be a huge momentum booster for Michigan.

Nov 13, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) during a warm up prior to the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Hassan Haskins: 31 carries for 156 yards

Haskins struggled to find his groove in the first half. The second half is where he really turned it on. Penn State has struggled to stop the run for much of the season. They did a nice job of stopping Ohio State running back Treyveon Henderson in the first half two weeks ago. However, just like today, the second half is where Henderson really boosted his performance.

Erick Ali: 4 receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown

Haskins came into this game as the fourth-best running back in the Big Ten statistically. The passing game also came to play as well. Sure, this certainly wasn’t their best game. This was a close game for all four quarters. The passing game was a big part of their success today, despite the game coming down to the wire and Ali coming up big late in the game.

Michigan Defense

Michigan defense showed up to play today. They have a few players highlighted as NFL draft prospects, and they were big reasons why the Wolverines finished strong today in their win over Penn State. By the end of the third quarter, Sean Clifford had been sacked seven times. Michigan takes this one late in the game, and still makes their case for the College Football Playoff

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