Penn State vs. Michigan State Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the Penn State vs. Michigan State fearless prediction and game preview.
Penn State (7-1) vs. Michigan State (6-2) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, November 4th
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET
Venue: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
This isn’t over – for either side.
It is over if Michigan State has any dreams of going to the College Football Playoff – losing to Northwestern for the second loss of the season ruined that – but win out, and it’s in the Big Ten championship.
Penn State needs a boatload of help to get back into the College Football Playoff discussion after its loss at Ohio State, but it can still make it interesting by rolling though the rest of its schedule in blowout fashion.
It’ll need Ohio State to lose twice to make this happen, but the Nittany Lions have to first get back to the Big Ten Championship – 12-1 B1G champ Penn State gets into the CFP.
But first, for both teams, it’s just about getting back on the winning track. The loser of this showdown is done, the winner moves on, and then it gets interesting.
MSU has to go to Ohio State next week, before closing out against Maryland and Rutgers. The Nittany Lions should roll through Rutgers, Nebraska and Maryland – this might be their toughest game left this season.
One Reason Why Michigan State Will Win
After a year off, the Michigan State defense is the Michigan State defense again.
Last season, the Spartans allowed more than 150 yards per game with regularity, but they were able to hold down Penn State and Saquon Barkley, allowing just 77 rushing yards.
Barkley ran for 14 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries.
So far this year, the Spartan line is far tougher, the runs into the second level aren’t there, and only Michigan – 102 yards – was able to crank out more than 100 yards in the last five games.
Like it’s been able to do over the last few seasons when it’s on, MSU is great at grinding games down to a dead halt. It’s second in the Big Ten in time of possession, and it’s outstanding at coming up with third down stops.
For all of the amazing things Penn State does, it’s just okay on third downs, partly because it can’t run quite well enough on a consistent basis.
As amazing as Barkley is, he has a strange ability to strike out ten times, and then hit a three-run home run. If the Spartans can keep No. 26 from exploding on those one or two big plays he’s great at cranking up per game, he’ll be kept under wraps.
One Reason Why Penn State Will Win
Yeah, but …
All it might take is Barkley exploding for those one or two big plays.
Michigan State has allowed more than one touchdown run twice this season – the loss to Notre Dame, and the loss to Northwestern. Penn State has rushed for multiple touchdowns in each of the last three games, and five times this season.
The Nittany Lions might have buckled late against the Buckeyes, but even if the running game is slowed, Trace McSorley continues to be fantastic, the passing game is timely – even if it’s not consistent – and it should be able to hit the Spartans right out of the gate.
Even with a big passing game against Northwestern last week, this isn’t the most explosive of Spartan teams. It can’t try do much if it’s being forced to try keeping up in a shootout.
What’s Going To Happen
This will come down more to the quarterback play than the work from the running backs.
Barkley and LJ Scott will try coming up with big performances, but McSorley and Brian Lewerke – who threw for 445 yards and four scores against Northwestern – need to come out slinging, too.
At home, Penn State will bounce back with a big offensive performance in the first quarter to set the tone, and Michigan State won’t bounce back. McSorley will have a huge game, Barkley will bust out for one big run after being bottled up for most to the day, and Penn State will be back on track.
Penn State vs. Michigan State Prediction
Penn State 34, Michigan State 14
Penn State -15.5, o/u: 41
1: Anything Fun or Bite Size … 2
Must See Rating
5: Game 5
1: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown … 3.5