football Edit

Michigan calls out Penn State 'Twitter fingers' after blowout win

Michigan football didn't need extra motivation for its top-10 matchup against Penn State.

But the Nittany Lions added fuel to the Wolverines' fire when members of the roster trashed U-M players on social media throughout the week and ignited a scuffle at halftime.

"The whole week, they've been using Twitter fingers and talking to us on social media," Michigan senior DE Mike Morris said at the post-game press conference. "One of our guys was on Instagram live, and they told him, 'oh, we're going to see you, da da da.'"

When the game started and the week of chatter concluded, the Wolverines soundly dominated the Nittany Lions, winning the game 41-17, the fourth loss for James Franklin at Michigan Stadium.

On paper, Jim Harbaugh's team dominated "from the jump," as sophomore QB J.J. McCarthy put it after the game. But, for a moment, the scoreboard disagreed.

Despite a 13-0 first-half lead, two plays flipped the game on its head and gave the Nittany Lions an improbable lead.

A 3rd & short 62-yard QB keeper from Sean Clifford set up a Penn State score before a McCarthy pass deflected off of two players' helmets, landed in LB Curtis Jacobs' hands, and resulted in a pick-six.

In under two minutes of game time, the score went from 13-0 to 14-13.

Michigan converted a field goal before the half's conclusion, giving it a 16-14 lead. Still, Penn State thought it had momentum, and when the two teams met in the newly-minted Lloyd Carr Tunnel, Franklin's team, who had 21 yards of offense in the first half outside of Clifford's big run, became vocal and nearly physical with the Wolverines.

WARNING: Explicit language & actions in the video below

Before U-M pulled away, it was in a battle with the scoreboard, where Penn State led despite Michigan having 18 first downs to PSU's one.

At halftime, the Nittany Lions had more touchdowns (2; one offensive, one defensive) than first downs (1).

Still, Penn State players decided to ignite the shenanigans.

"We all told each other, 'they want to have those Twitter fingers. They want to talk on social media? OK,'" Morris said with a smirk. "They didn't talk on the field. They wanted to talk at halftime because they got lucky, but yeah. That's it."

Michigan outscored Penn State 25-3 in the second half.

Following the tunnel scuffle, the Wolverines captured the momentum and suffocated whatever fight or pride was left on the Nittany Lions sideline.

"I didn't really see what went on, but just from how they (Penn State) were acting emotionally out there going into the half and how they were emotionally all game, I wouldn't be surprised if it was them starting it," McCarthy said with a smile, "and we just finished it."

Social media will always impact sports, but Saturday's Michigan-Penn State game should remind everyone that football games take place on the field.

And Michigan left no doubt in that department.

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