BY SCOTT BELL
When running back Mike Hart passed Tyrone Wheatley to become Michigan's No. 3 all-time rusher, the senior didn't show too much emotion.
"The only thing that matters is No. 1, and this team being No. 1 - that's all I'm focused on," Hart said following the Notre Dame game when he achieved the feat. "If we keep winning and I keep moving up, it's cool."
Hart is just 139 yards away from breaking the school's career rushing record.
The Michigan Daily Top 10 returns for its third installment in this young season. Each week, Daily Sports staffers will fill out ballots, with first place votes receiving 10 points, second-place votes receiving nine, and so on. The results are published with first-place votes in parentheses.
1. Southern Cal (8): So, turns out, the Trojans are pretty good. Southern Cal is a retro version of itself, compiling ridiculous amounts of yardage on the ground. Its pass offense ranks 94th in the country, but so far, passing hasn't been necessary.
Staff Picks recap: So long, Todd. After losing to more than two of us this week, our first campus prognosticator must now hit the ol' dusty trail. He leaves with no shame, though, since he managed to outdo our football writers two weeks in row despite our own strong showings (we can't remember the last time all the beat writers have been this far over .500). Still, he had more wins than any of us over the past three weeks.
BY JACK HERMAN
Although many Michigan fans viewed the Wolverines' 0-2 start as tragedy, for the rest of the country, the script played out more like a farce.
A senior quarterback making freshman mistakes. A defense sliced twice by mobile quarterbacks. A team with perhaps more winning tradition than any other losing in college football's greatest upset ever.
Two weeks and two convincing wins later, the rest of Big Ten is no longer laughing.
BY SCOTT BELL
College football may have regressed about 90 years on Saturday. The teams ran the ball 85 times - more than half by Mike Hart - and completed no passes longer than 24 yards. This shouldn't really be a surprise, considering Penn State coach Joe Paterno started coaching around then.
But no matter how far back in time you feel you traveled while watching Saturday's battle in the trenches, the throwback game provided a glance into the Wolverines' future - and it looked pretty good.
If you're talking about progress, you must start with the defense.
BY KEVIN WRIGHT
Quarterback Chad Henne and the Michigan offense had 53 seconds left on the clock and 53 yards to go to win the game.
It was up to the offense to keep Michigan from dropping below .500 and rescue a defense that had just surrendered what could have been Penn State's game-winning touchdown.
But Henne led the offense down the field and stole the win with a 10-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Mario Manningham with no time left on the clock.
That was two years ago, and this time around, the defense wanted the chance.
BY DANIEL BROMWICH
At last Monday's press conference, running back Mike Hart said he didn't expect to run as efficiently as he did against Notre Dame versus Penn State's highly ranked defense.
"We're not just going to be able to run the ball every play," Hart said. "Hopefully we can; we might be able to. I hope we can. But watching them on film, you're not going to do that to them."
Forty-four carries, 153 yards and a touchdown against the nation's best run defense indicates otherwise.
Defense-O-Meter: 4 out of 4 Crables
After last week's dominating performance, there were still questions about the defense (i.e. it played Notre Dame). But the Wolverines answered them Saturday, pressuring Anthony Morelli all day and limiting the Nittany Lions to just nine points.
BY DANIEL BROMWICH
Two years ago, Penn State strolled into Ann Arbor undefeated and in line for a potential National Championship bid.
Michigan was struggling, having already lost three games, including two at home.
And up 25-21 with 53 seconds left, the Nittany Lions were ready to celebrate not just the continuation of their dream season, but the end of a six-game losing streak to the Wolverines.
But a Steve Breaston kick return started drive that resulted in a Mario Manningham touchdown catch with no time remaining, extending Penn State's misery another year.