McNamara, No. 9 Michigan rally past No. 23 Penn State 21-17

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Cade McNamara threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to tight end Erick All with 3:29 left and No. 9 Michigan stayed in the Big Ten championship race, rallying past tricky No. 23 Penn State 21-17 on Saturday.

McNamara completed 19 of 29 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns to boost the Wolverines (9-1, 6-1 conference, No. 6 CFP).

Hassan Haskins ran for 156 yards on 31 carries and Roman Wilson caught a pair of touchdown passes for the Wolverines, who led 14-6 midway through the fourth quarter.

Penn State (6-4, 3-4) tried a pair of trick plays from kick formation in the first quarter, with mixed results.

Quarterback Sean Clifford withstood seven sacks, completing 23 of 43 for 205 yards and throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Warren with 7:35 to go. Clifford then tied it 14 when he connected with Jahan Dotson for a two-point conversion.

The Nittany Lions then got the ball back on a strip-sack of McNamara by defensive end Arnold Ebiketie deep in Michigan territory. Jordan Stout kicked a 31-yard field goal with 5:55 left for a 17-14 lead.

Michigan’s winning drive started with five straight runs by Haskins for 28 yards to move to the Penn State 47, setting up All’s touchdown.

The Nittany Lions couldn’t move in their last chance and Clifford’s final pass fell incomplete.

Penn State gave up three sacks on its opening drive, but got a 42-yard field goal from Stout. Four plays earlier, Stout extended the possession with an 18-yard pass on a fake punt.

The Nittany Lions forced a three-and-out, but couldn’t fool the Wolverines with another fake kick. Stout was set to kick what would’ve been a 20-yard field goal on Penn State’s second possession, but instead swung wide and caught a pass from holder Raphael Checa.

Stout was hit hard by Vincent Gray and lost the ball, and a handful of Michigan defenders pounced on it.

One possession later, the Wolverines got their first first down of the game and turned it into a 15-play, 90-yard drive that ended when McNamara tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Wilson with 5:49 to play in the first half.

Michigan tried to convert a fourth-and-short from midfield on its next possession, but Haskins was stopped short. Stout’s 52-yard kick cut Michigan’s lead to 7-6 at halftime.

McNamara tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Wilson early in the third quater. Later in the period, Stout bounced a 43-yard field goal attempt off the right upright, keeping Michigan ahead 14-6.

THE TAKEAWAY

Michigan: The Wolverines started slow, picked up the pace and got big contributions on the defensive side to keep their Big Ten championship hopes alive. Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, particularly were consistently disruptive.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions continue to be dreadfully one-dimensional. Despite harping on it all week, they again failed to hit holes for big runs and averaged just 2.6 yards per yards per rush, Without any real push on ground, Clifford is having to do way too much, and his workload was even harder with all the Michigan defenders getting clean runs at him.

UP NEXT

Michigan: Visits Maryland.

Penn State: Hosts Rutgers.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.