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Navarre leads Michigan over Nittany Lions in OT 27-24

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — If John Navarre still has critics, they must have missed his latest performance.
Navarre was 27-of-41 for 244 yards with two fourth-quarter touchdowns — and didn’t commit one turnover — as Michigan beat Penn State 27-24 in overtime Saturday.
His naysayers have been critical of his movement and inability to look at more than one receiver, but he was excellent in both areas against the Nittany Lions. The junior quarterback moved up and around the pocket to avoid sacks and to deliver passes, sometimes to a second or third option.
“It was the most comfortable I’ve felt,” Navarre said.
Navarre doesn’t feel like he’s redeemed himself.
“What everybody says doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s about what I get done here and what we do as a team that counts.”
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr is also done defending Navarre.
“Look, his performance speaks volumes,” Carr said.
Michigan (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) moved up two spots to No. 11 in The Associated Press poll while Penn State (4-2, 1-2) fell to No. 20 from 15th.
The Wolverines have been ranked in 71 straight polls, which is now the longest streak in the nation because Florida is unranked after being in 209 consecutive polls.
Two of college’s winningest programs turned a dull start into a fantastic finish capped by Chris Perry’s 3-yard touchdown run on the second possession in overtime.
After both teams trudged through the first 42-plus minutes tied at 7, they combined for 28 points and three lead changes.
Navarre’s second TD pass to Braylon Edwards — his third option in a crowded end zone — with 3:24 left forced the first overtime ever at Michigan Stadium.
“John was tremendous,” Carr said. “He made big throws and some big plays to help us win.”
The Wolverines won their sixth straight over the Nittany Lions, who hadn’t lost that many games in a row to any team in more than 70 years.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in Division I-Al, was so upset after the game that he wouldn’t allow his players to be interviewed.
“They had one more play than we had,” he said. “It was as simple as that.”
Michigan won the toss in overtime and chose to let Penn State have the ball first.
Nittany Lions kicker Robbie Gould — who missed an extra point and a field goal in regulation — missed a 23-yard field goal in overtime. But Michigan was called for offsides, and Gould took advantage of the opportunity with a 20-yard kick to put Penn State ahead 24-21.
“Don’t blame it on the kicker,” Paterno said.
On Michigan’s possession, Perry gained 4 yards on a third-and-1 from Penn State’s 16. Four plays later, he plunged in for the score.
When Perry was mobbed by his teammates during a wild celebration in the end zone, he had one thought: “I made sure I didn’t fall,” he said.
Zack Mills was 19-of-31 for 264 yards with two TDs and no interceptions, despite a sprained shoulder.
Larry Johnson ran for 78 yards and a TD on a sore hamstring.
“He was hurt,” Paterno said. “I really didn’t want to play him that much, but he wanted to stay in there.”
Bryant Johnson caught seven passes for 138 yards and a touchdown — against Thorpe Award candidate Marlin Jackson — but had a potential TD in overtime ripped out of his hands by Jackson.
“They got me today,” Jackson said. “But I’ll take the win.”
Before Michigan’s current six-game winning streak, the Nittany Lions had not lost six straight in a series since Pittsburgh beat them 10 times in a row from 1922-31.