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Penn State Turns Back Michigan

November 17, 1996|From Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Penn State, with an off week before playing Michigan, used the time wisely.

Penn State's defense, led by safety Kim Herring, forced five second-half turnovers and blocked a punt as the No. 11 Nittany Lions rallied for a 29-17 victory Saturday over the No. 16 Wolverines.

Penn State (9-2 overall, 5-2 in Big Ten) had four interceptions, two by Herring, recovered one fumble and returned a blocked punt for the go-ahead touchdown.

"We had two weeks to prepare for them," special teams coach Larry Johnson said. "We saw some things on film we thought we could use against them. The kids came off the field and said, 'Hey coach, it's there."'

Brett Conway's third field goal cut Michigan's lead to 17-16 with 4:47 left in the third quarter. The Wolverines went three-and-out on their next possession and had to punt from their 18.

David Macklin broke in to block the punt by Paul Peristeris. Linebacker Ahmad Collins scooped up the ball and returned it two yards for a touchdown, putting the Nittany Lions ahead 22-17.

The defense did the rest.

"After the block, we basically started to roll for the rest of the game," Herring said.

The victory kept Penn State in the picture for a top-flight alliance bowl. The Nittany Lions finish the regular season at home against Michigan State next Saturday.

It was the second straight loss for Michigan (7-3, 4-3), which also had five turnovers a week earlier at Purdue. The Wolverines play No. 2 Ohio State next Saturday.

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