OK, so it wasn’t 49-10. But for second-ranked Penn State, 42-13 on national television Saturday night was close enough.
The Nittany Lions (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) had waited a little more than a year for the chance to get back at No. 19 Michigan (5-2, 2-2) for that 39-point embarrassment at the Big House, which was the last time they lost in the regular season. That was also the game that eventually kept them out of the playoffs.
But this one was in State College. And completely the opposite.
With ESPN’s College GameDay in Happy Valley and a record “White Out” crowd of 110,823 in Beaver Stadium, the Nits never trailed. It was 14-13 late in the second quarter, 21-13 at the half and all PSU the rest of the way.
Saquon Barkley scored on a 69-yard run on the second play. He also scored on a 15-yard run and a 42-yard pass from Trace McSorley. He finished with 108 yards on 15 carries. McSorley ran for three touchdowns.
The Lions came up with seven sacks. They’ve outscored opponents 90-0 in the opening 15 minutes, the only FBS team that has yet to allow a first-quarter point.
The Wolverines hadn’t given up this many since a 42-13 loss to Ohio State in 2015.
Speaking of the No. 6 Buckeyes (6-1, 4-0), who had a bye …
That’s where Penn State will be this week. Only this time, it’s the other guys who will be in revenge mode. The Nits beat OSU last October at home on a late return of a blocked field goal. Even though Penn State would go on to win the conference title, it didn’t keep the Buckeyes out of the four-team tournament, maybe at the expense of Penn State. Of course, the Bucks got whacked by Clemson in the semifinals, and the Nits somehow blew a 15-point third-quarter lead against Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl.
Since that early 15-point home loss to Oklahoma, the Buckeyes have scored 38, 54, 56, 62 and 56. But the opponents were Army, Nevada-Las Vegas, Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska.
The winner is likely looking at a matchup with No. 5 Wisconsin out of the West Division in the final on Dec. 2 in Indianapolis. Maybe even an unbeaten Wisconsin. Penn State beat the Badgers in that game a year ago, 38-31, after trailing by 21 in the second quarter.
PSU has lost its last two in The Horseshoe, 38-10 two years ago and 63-14 in 2013. The Lions haven’t put together back-to-back wins in the 32-game series since 1978 and ’80 (Fiesta Bowl).
Army 31, Temple 28 (OT)
The Owls (3-5) have lost as many regular-season games as they did the last two years combined.
At West Point, the Black Knights (6-2) extended their winning streak to four and accepted a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl. They had to go 79 yards in the closing 91 seconds of regulation to tie it. It took them 14 plays. Five of them were completed passes by sophomore Kelvin Hopkins. Coming in, they’d attempted only 38 passes out of their triple-option offense. But a 16-yard TD throw to Jermaine Adams with a second left forced more football.
Blake Wilson kicked a 29-yard field goal in OT, and Aaron Boumerhi missed from 27.
Hopkins had been 1-for-6 for 9 yards before that tying drive.
The Owls, after trailing 14-0, led by seven twice in the fourth quarter. Ryquell Armstead’s 21-yard run put them ahead for the last time with 1:38 remaining. He carried 18 times for 151 yards.
Frank Nutile played for the injured Logan Marchi and went 20-for-29 for 290 yards.
This was Temple’s last non-conference game.
The Owls are off this week before hosting Navy (5-2, 3-2 American Athletic) on Thursday, Nov. 2. They beat the Midshipmen in last December’s title game on the road. Navy has lost two straight, to No. 18 Central Florida (6-0, 4-0) and No. 24 Memphis (6-1, 3-1).
Yale 24, Penn 19
The two-time defending Ivy champions lost their fourth straight, and are 0-3 in the league for the first time since 2006.
The Quakers (2-4) lost to Dartmouth at home on Sept. 29 on a 1-yard run on the last play. They lost last week at Columbia, a team they’d dominated for two decades, on a 24-yard pass in OT on third-and-9. This time they had a lead in the fourth quarter. But Yale (5-1, 2-1) went 80 yards in 11 plays to go back in front for keeps with a little more than four minutes showing.
It was the Bulldogs’ first win at Penn since 2007 (that one was in triple OT), and second since 1990.
Yale was up 18-10 at the half. It had 217 yards rushing to Penn’s 17.
Justin Watson had 10 catches for 120 yards, including a 23-yard TD on Penn’s opening possession. He set an Ivy record with his 16th career game of at least 100 yards receiving and tied a program record by having a TD reception in his sixth straight game. His 27 career scores also equaled a school record.
Now they head to Brown, which has the same record.
Unbeaten Columbia, by the way, beat previously unbeaten Dartmouth to move into solo first place. Unreal.
Villanova (4-3, 2-2 Colonial Athletic), ranked 15th in FCS, had a bye. The Wildcats host No. 15 Elon (6-1, 4-0), which almost got upset at Rhode Island (1-6, 0-4).
Mike Kern’s Top 10
1. Alabama (8-0). Beat Tennessee, 45-7. Next: Nov. 4 vs. LSU. Tide has owned LSU lately. Of course they’ve owned a lot of other folks too.
2. Penn State (7-0). Beat Michigan, 42-13. Saturday: at Ohio State. Maybe this will come down to a blocked kick again.
3. Georgia (7-0). Idle. Saturday: vs. Florida (in Jacksonville). Florida has won last three meetings. By 18, 24 and 14.
4. Texas Christian (7-0). Beat Kansas, 43-0. Saturday: at Iowa State. Has lost once, in eight meetings. That was in 2012. Last three weren’t close.
5. Wisconsin (7-0). Beat Maryland, 38-13. Saturday: at Illinois. Illinois stinks.
6. Ohio State (6-1). Idle. Saturday: vs. Penn State. Buckeyes have looked more like Buckeyes. But this is a major step up in class.
7. Clemson (6-1). Idle. Saturday: vs. Georgia Tech. Beat Tech 26-7 last year and 43-24 in 2015.
8. Notre Dame (6-1). Beat Southern Cal, 49-14. Saturday: vs. North Carolina State. Who knew both these teams would be 6-1 when they met?
9. Oklahoma (6-1). Beat Kansas State, 42-35. Saturday: vs. Texas Tech. Has won 6 of last 7 meetings. Loss was in 2011 (41-38).
10. Miami (6-0). Beat Syracuse, 27-19. Saturday: at North Carolina. North Carolina stinks. Will try not to be looking to Virginia Tech and at Notre Dame.
Next in line: Oklahoma State (6-1), Washington (6-1), Virginia Tech (6-1), Washington State (7-1) and North Carolina State (6-1).
USC – You can lose at Notre Dame. But not like that.
Michigan – Hey, Penn State made it when Wolves beat them by 39 last year.
Houston – Shouldn’t be blowing a 17-point lead at home, even to Memphis.
Virginia – Can’t be losing to Boston College 41-10 even if it was at BC, which it wasn’t.
Harvard – Shouldn’t be losing to Princeton 52-17 even if it was at Princeton, which it wasn’t.