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Penn State puts away Michigan to end streak

October 19, 2008|From the Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Polishing off Joe Paterno's greatest nemesis, No. 3 Penn State ended a dozen years of disappointment against Michigan.

Behind the running of Evan Royster and a few momentum-shifting plays by the defense and special teams, the Nittany Lions withstood the Wolverines' early flurry and ended a nine-game losing streak to their Big Ten Conference rivals, 46-17, Saturday.

Paterno wasn't on the field to enjoy his team's highest-scoring game against Michigan, relegated to working from the press box for a third consecutive week because of a sore hip and leg. Surely, his 380th victory looked just as good from the bird's-eye view.

Even more important for Paterno's team: When the first Bowl Championship Series standings come out today, Penn State should be no worse than third.

No team had ever won as many in a row against Penn State during Paterno's 43 seasons at the helm than Michigan. But if ever there was an opportunity for the Nittany Lions (8-0, 4-0) to break the streak it was this year. The Wolverines (2-5, 1-2) have looked little like the winningest program in college football history in their first season under Coach Rich Rodriguez.

Jared Odrick gave Penn State its first lead of the game, 19-17, when he dragged down backup quarterback Nick Sheridan in the end zone with 4:39 left in third quarter.

The free kick set the Nittany Lions up at midfield, Royster's 21-yard run put them at the one and Daryll Clark sneaked in at 3:04 to make it 26-17.

Royster ran for 174 yards in 18 carries.

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