WR Jahan Dotson poses biggest challenge of the season for Michigan football’s defense

Free Press sports writer Michael Cohen looks ahead to Michigan football’s game against Penn State on Saturday:

Next up

Matchup: No. 8 Michigan (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) vs. No. 23 Penn State (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten)

Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pennsylvania.

TV/radio: ABC; WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050).

Line: Wolverines by 2.

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Michigan defensive back George Johnson tackles Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson during the second half of Michigan’s 27-17 loss at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020.

Know the foe

A pair of wins over ranked opponents (No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 22 Auburn) propelled the Nittany Lions to a 5-0 record and set the stage for a titanic road clash against then-No. 3 Iowa in early October. But things unraveled in Iowa City when starting quarterback Sean Clifford was knocked out of the game as Penn State fell, 23-20, to the Hawkeyes. The loss began a three-game skid for the Nittany Lions in which they were stunned by Illinois in nine overtimes, then fell to Ohio State in Columbus despite hanging within a field goal until midway through the fourth quarter.

Story continues

Their hopes of a Big Ten title extinguished by three conference losses, the Nittany Lions snapped the skid with a 31-14 road win over Maryland on Saturday. Tied 14-14 early in the fourth quarter, Franklin’s club responded with 17 points in the final 13:55 to pull away from the Terrapins. On a day when wide receiver Jahan Dotson set a school record with 242 receiving yards, Penn State sealed victory with a massive defensive play. Safety Ji’Ayir Brown intercepted…

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