This week’s Big Ten Game of the Week is Penn State vs. Michigan at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The game is on ESPN 2 on Saturday, October 11th at 7:00 PM.
The Nittany Lions come into this game with a 4-1 record, 1-1 in the Big Ten Conference. The Lions are looking to bounce back from a devastating loss to Northwestern at Beaver Stadium two weeks ago. Coming off a bye week, the offense is determined to find success in the run game as they are rushing for just over a 100 yards per game. In the air, Christian Hackenberg is leading Penn State’s offense with 295 yards per game passing. Penn State’s defense continues to be stellar, only allowing 60.2 yards per game on the ground, which is good for second in the nation.
The Wolverines come into this game riding a three game losing streak. Michigan’s offense has been struggling to find a rhythm this season behind quarterbacks Devin Gardner and Shane Morris. With Morris concussed, Gardner will get the start on Saturday. Earlier this week it was also announced that leading rusher Derrick Green will miss the rest of the season with a broken clavicle. With all the struggles on the offensive side of the ball, the silver lining for the program has been the defensive play. The Wolverine’s defense is only allowing 315.5 total yards per game, which ranks 19th in the nation.
The Big House provides a tremendous home field advantage for the Wolverines, but will that be a deciding factor in the game? With Michigan’s offense struggling and the tremendous loss of Derrick Green, Penn State should have a field day on the defensive side of the ball. Look for Penn State linebacker Mike Hull flying around making tackles all over the field. Christian Hackenberg is putting up stellar numbers this season in the air, and if Penn State finally finds their running game after this bye week, it may prove to be too much for this Wolverine defense. With all that being said, my prediction is as follows:
Penn State beats Michigan by a score of 20-17
If this game is anything like last year’s showdown between Penn State and Michigan, we’ll be in for a good show. Below are some highlights of the 4 OT thriller from last year at Beaver Stadium. This should help get you hyped up!