JJ McCarthy might have spent most of the Penn State game running away from Penn State defenders, but he was able to one-up them in the celebration game and on the scoreboard after he mocked Dani Dennis-Wilson’s sign-stealing celebration earlier in the game after Michigan’s dagger fourth-quarter touchdown.
It was a classic Big Ten “defensive struggle” for much of No. 3 Michigan’s 24-15 win over Penn State as the teams barely combined for 500 total yards and a scant 114 passing yards.
After star defensive end Dani Dennis-Sutton sacked McCarthy in the third quarter, he celebrated by holding imaginary binoculars up to his face, then looking down and miming writing down something (presumably the stolen signs) on a notepad.
The game was still within one score with 3:36 to go as Michigan led 17-9. But Penn State went for it on 4th and 2 at its own 30-yard line with 4:21 to go and did not get it.
On the first play, Michigan’s Blake Corum took it 30 yards for a touchdown that all but sealed it. And McCarthy mocked Dennis-Wilson’s celebration to punctuate it.
Michigan was playing in its first game without head coach Jim Harbaugh, who is serving his 3-game suspension from the Big Ten for said sign-stealing scandal in spite of the school filing for a temporary restraining order to block it. Although his team’s ability to perform so well without him could hurt the school’s legal claim that playing without Harbaugh on the sideline will do “irreparable harm”.