The Big House felt big again on Saturday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Penn State folded in front of an electric crowd, gaining only 214 total yards and converting one fewer field goal than the Wolverines in a much-needed 18-13 victory for the home team.
Michigan receiver Devin Funchess turned a would-be Penn State interception into a 43-yard touchdown pass on the first Wolverines drive of the game. The Wolverines' offense wouldn't get any more productive, but Matt Wile connected on all three of his field goal attempts to provide the points his team needed.
Quarterback Devin Gardner left the game with what looked like an ankle injury, but returned to lead a drive that resulted in a 37-yard, game-winning field goal. He completed 16 of 24 pass attempts for 192 yards. He also ran 10 times for 18 yards. Gardner and the Wolverines get a bye week to try to spin their biggest win of the year -- their first against a Power 5 team this season -- into a better second half of the schedule.
How the game was won: Neither offense sparkled on Saturday night, but Michigan's was opportunistic enough to take advantage of good field position in the second half. A third-quarter interception from cornerback Jourdan Lewis set up a game-tying field goal three plays later. In the fourth, a shanked punt gave the Wolverines another short field and a game-winning field goal.
Game ball goes to: Michigan's defensive line beat up on a shaky Penn State front all night. Brennen Beyer had two of the team's six sacks. The line also forced Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg into bad choices throughout the second half, including an ill-advised across-the-body throw that resulted in Lewis' momentum-changing interception. Under constant pressure, the Nittany Lions didn't pick up a single first down in the second half.
What it means: The noose around Michigan's neck ceases to tighten for at least a couple of weeks. The Wolverines are still 3-4 with plenty of warts that need fixing. A bowl game isn't completely out of the picture yet, though. Whatever chance the Nittany Lions had at contending for the East Division's spot in the Big Ten title game this season is likely shot.
Best play: Michigan receiver Devin Funchess turned a potential face palm for the Wolverines into a touchdown on their opening possession. On first down from the 43-yard line, Devin Gardner floated a pass that looked destined to land in the arms of Penn State safety Ryan Keiser. Funchess stepped in front of Keiser, pulled the ball away and coasted into the end zone for an early score. The seven points were a big confidence boost for a team that was in desperate need of a good break.
What's next: Both teams take a week off to regroup before taking on the best the Big Ten has to offer. Michigan will face in-state rival Michigan State on Oct. 25, but likely won't have to listen to speculation about who its head coach will be for that game in the interim. Penn State hosts Ohio State.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Matt Wile kicked a 37-yard field goal with 11:24 remaining, and Michigan's defense stifled Penn State in the second half as the Wolverines held on for an 18-13 victory Saturday night, snapping their three-game losing streak.
Devin Gardner returned from a second-half injury and threw a 24-yard pass to Dennis Norfleet to set up Wile's tiebreaking kick, but it was the defense that lifted Michigan (3-4, 1-2 Big Ten) in the second half. Penn State (4-2, 1-2) led 13-10 when Christian Hackenberg's ill-advised pass was intercepted. That turnover set up a tying field goal in the third quarter, and the Wolverines took advantage of good field position again early in the fourth, when Wile's final field goal broke a 13-all tie.
Gardner threw for 192 yards and a touchdown. He was helped off the field in the third quarter with an apparent left leg injury but was able to return.
Penn State Runs By Temple
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
12:00 PM ET Penn State Illinois 12:00 PM ET Indiana 6 Ohio State 12:00 PM ET 25 Minnesota 23 Nebraska 12:00 PM ET Northwestern Purdue 12:00 PM ET Rutgers 11 Michigan State 3:30 PM ET 16 Wisconsin Iowa 3:30 PM ET Maryland Michigan