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Penn State fooled Michigan once on special teams in the first quarter, but the Wolverines were not about to be fooled a second time. Penn State attempted a fake field goal from the Michigan two-yard line that was absolutely destroyed by Michigan in spectacular fashion, much to the chagrin of Penn State head coach James Franklin.
After Michigan’s offense went three-and-out on their first offensive possession of the game, Penn State worked the field down to the two-yard line before being forced to make a tough call on fourth down. Franklin rolled the dice and sent his special teams unit out to the field, but the Nittany Lions had seven on the mind. A pass from holder Rafael Checa was completed to kicker Jordan Stout, but the Wolverines were ready to pounce on Stout quickly, forcing him to backtrack after the catch. As Stout was moving in the wrong direction, he lost control of the football and Michigan recovered the ball at the Michigan 29-yard line.
So no points added to the scoreboard for Penn State, and a net gain of 27 yards on the play for Michigan, allowing the Wolverines to start the drive outside of their own end zone.
Naturally, Twitter was perplexed by the decision by Franklin to go for the fake without Sean Clifford on the field.
What the hell was that?
— Audrey Snyder (@audsnyder4) November 13, 2021
IF YOU’RE GOING TO GO FOR IT ON 4TH AND GOAL FROM THE 2 JUST GO FOR IT DON’T PULL OUT DUMBASS GIMMICKS WITH PLAYERS WHO AREN’T USED TO BEING IN THOSE SITUATIONS
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) November 13, 2021
This is just me behind a keyboard in my cozy office sipping on apple cider, but I probably would have let Sean Clifford try to make a play from the two-yard line there if I was Penn State. https://t.co/kJND3OHcno
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) November 13, 2021
How about just run an offensive play from the two-yard line? Bad decision by Franklin.
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) November 13, 2021
Me watching James Franklin call that fake FG: pic.twitter.com/jJ68KoOGah
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) November 13, 2021
Penn State still held a 3-0 lead after Michigan was forced to pin Penn State deep after a punt on a second-striaght three-and-out by the Michigan offense.