Michigan vs. Penn State Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the Michigan vs. Penn State fearless prediction and game preview.
Michigan (5-1) vs. Penn State (6-0) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, October 21st
Game Time: 7:30 pm ET
Venue: Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA
Time to prove it, everyone.
Penn State, time to prove you can beat a good team.
Iowa isn’t without its charm, and Indiana it probably a whole lot better than it’s getting credit for, but the Nittany Lions have yet to do anything remotely as strong as Alabama beating a healthy Florida State to start the season, or Georgia taking down Notre Dame in South Bend, or TCU beating Oklahoma State, or Clemson beating three top 15 teams in September.
This is about as tuned up as a team can be, ripping through everything in its path – other than the Hawkeyes – and now comes off a two week rest to gear up for Michigan, at Ohio State, at Michigan State.
Win two of those three – as long as one of them is Ohio State – and when all is said and done, it’ll be off to the Big Ten Championship for a second year in a row.
Prove it, Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh is now 1-4 against Michigan State and Ohio State, but he’s 2-0 with relative ease over Penn State. He’s been great at winning all the little-to-medium games, but now he gets a chance at the No. 2 team in the country. Win this, and Michigan is right back in the national championship chase.
And now it’s time to also …
One Reason Why Michigan Will Win
Prove it, Saquon Barkley.
Everyone saw what he did against Iowa, and he was all but handed the Heisman for it. But as a running back – not just an all-purpose machine – he’s been held in check over the last few games and has just two 100-yard days on the season.
Last year against Michigan? 15 carries, 59 yards, doing most of his damage as receiver. As a freshman, he ran for 68 yards in the loss.
You want the Heisman, 26? Well go and get it against this defense.
Michigan has issues, but the defense isn’t it one of them. The tackles are NFL-caliber, the pass rush terrific, and the attack will come from all sides as it does everything possible to shut down Barkley.
Everyone tries to do that. Outside of one big play, Northwestern succeeded, and for the most part, Indiana did, too. Penn State has to assume its superstar will be bottled up.
One Reason Why Penn State Will Win
Prove it, Michigan secondary, and prove it, Michigan passing game.
The overall stats for the Wolverine passing game are terrific, but it’s faced almost no one who can throw a forward pass. The pass rush has had something to do with the production, but this week, Penn State is about to prove it’s more than just Barkley.
Trace McSorley is having a terrific year, spreading out four picks and doing more than just providing a little bit of balance. When everyone is sending everyone and the waterboy to stop Barkley, it’s McSorley who’s producing with efficiency and effectiveness.
McSorley is great; the Michigan passing game isn’t.
John O’Korn gets a bit of a free pass for the Michigan State game – the weather was terrible – but he managed just 58 yards against Indiana.
Against a Penn State secondary that’s been fantastic so far, the next Tom Brady isn’t about to emerge under center for the Wolverines this week.
What’s Going To Happen
Here’s the thing about Jim Harbaugh’s seven losses so far at Michigan. They’re almost all really, really close, and they could’ve gone the other way.
The one exception is the 2015 blowout loss to Ohio State, but that wasn’t bad until it got out of hand.
All six of the other defeats were by a touchdown or less, with the average loss less then four points.
This will be a jacked up Penn State team that’ll try to come out roaring. Either it’ll drop a hammer right away with a big first quarter that Michigan can’t recover from, or the Wolverine defense will take the white-out crowd out of the game with a few clutch stops.
But the Penn State defense will do its part.
The pass rush will be all over the Michigan backfield as the offense doesn’t go anywhere. Even so, the chances will be there to pull off the upset late, and the Wolverines won’t be able to do it.
Survive and advance, Penn State. The margin of victory doesn’t matter a lick. It’ll win in a fight – Michigan’s red zone issues will be a problem again – and then it’s on to Ohio State for the next gigantic showdown.
Michigan vs. Penn State Prediction
Penn State 20, Michigan 12
Penn State -9.5, o/u: 44.5
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