After Saturday in Ann Arbor I was reminded of a quote by baseball's most famous Michigan alum, Derek Jeter. Trailing late in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS to the Red Sox, Jeter told his mates to keep their heads in it, that "the ghosts will show up eventually." Sure enough, they did. And Jeter's alma mater had their own ghosts that didn't take long to appear and help Michigan continue its mastery over Penn State.
It was early in the game in Ann Arbor when Penn State took a chance it didn't need to take, and made the mistake they couldn't afford to make. They lined up Anthony Morelli in the shotgun on third and long. Morelli was pressured and fumbled. Michigan got it around the ten, and took it in for the quick 7-0 lead. PSU never pulled even and the Wolverines were able to control the tempo throughout on the basis of that early score.
Michael Hart staked his claim for the Heisman with a convincing 153-yard performance because the UM offensive line staked out their turf. Coming into this game I was starting to back off my preseason concerns over the youth of the Lion defensive front. But Michigan brought these concerns back full-bore with a dominating performance, and from the middle of the second quarter on, Hart kept Michigan in control of the game.
Lion fans are in an uproar over yet another loss to Michigan and what is perceived as an unimaginative offense is taking the heat. But the one time PSU got creative, it cost them a touchdown. They lost another fumble around the Michigan 10, and Morelli overthrew an open Deon Butler in the end zone on another red zone trip that ended in a field goal. The Lions were in position to win, and just didn't make the plays to do so. Michigan did, and like Jeter's Yankees, they've reminded us there are some teams you never count out too quickly.
Michigan's rival in East Lansing became the latest team to claim a win over Notre Dame behind 144 yards from Javon Ringer. The Irish did get a running game, with James Aldridge going for over 100 yards. But the best prospect for a win in their first eight still slipped away, as the Spartans pulled away late. Rakes of Mallow has a look.