Penn State heads into its first matchup with the Wolverines since 2002 as the only undefeated team left in the Big Ten. While the Nittany Lions are riding high, Michigan has suffered its worst start in 15 years. But that doesn’t mean Penn State will cruise to an easy victory. If the recent history between these two storied programs shows anything, it’s that nothing is predictable when Michigan and Penn State face off. Michigan has won the last five games despite the fact that Penn State was ranked higher in two of the contests.

Here’s a look back at the last five games in the series.

2002 – No. 13 Michigan 27, No. 15 Penn State 24 (OT)

Quarterback John Navarre connected with Braylon Edwards for a touchdown to tie the score at 21 late in the fourth quarter and send the game into overtime. Michigan won the toss and chose to begin overtime on defense. On the Nittany Lion’s third-down play, Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson broke up a pass to force Penn State to kick a field for a 24-21 lead. The Wolverines took possession, and, on third-and-one, tailback Chris Perry scored a touchdown to give Michigan a 27-24 win.

2001 – No. 15 Michigan 20, Penn State 0

Michigan handed Joe Paterno his first home shutout in 36 years of coaching. In a display of defensive dominance, the Wolverines held Penn State to just 25 rushing yards on 26 carries. Michigan’s defense recorded four sacks and two interceptions and recovered a fumble. Linebacker Victor Hobson notched nine tackles to lead all Michigan defenders. On the offensive side of the ball, Navarre finished with 246 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-31 passing.

2000 – No. 20 Michigan 33, Penn State 11

Tailback Anthony Thomas amassed 171 yards on 35 carries in the Wolverines’ win – the 21st time he topped 100 yards rushing in his Michigan career – and moved into second place on the all-time rushing list. The Nittany Lions started the scoring with a field goal late in the first quarter but didn’t score again until the middle of the fourth. Michigan quarterback Drew Henson finished with 212 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-29 passing.

1999 – No. 16 Michigan 31, No. 6 Penn State 27

With 1:46 remaining in the second half, quarterback Tom Brady threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marcus Knight to give Michigan the victory. The Wolverines came back from a 27-17 deficit to upset the sixth-ranked Nittany Lions in State College. Linebacker Ian Gold finished the game with eight tackles – including three for loss – two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The win marked Lloyd Carr’s 30th Big Ten win as a head coach.

1998 – No. 22 Michigan 27, No. 9 Penn State 0

Brady threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns as Penn State suffered its first shutout loss in 130 games. Michigan’s biggest defensive stand came in the first half. The Nittany Lions gained possession at their 20-yard line and marched down the field. After allowing Penn State to convert on a fourth down at their 11, the Wolverines stopped the Nittany Lions on four straight plays, including a fourth-and-goal from the one. Michigan gained a season-high 360 yards in the upset win.

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