Michigan and Penn State will square off in a huge Big Ten matchup on Saturday night. Penn State will be taking advantage of both home field and an extra week of rest as they were idle last week.
Michigan dominated in last year’s contest in Ann Arbor winning 49-10. However, Penn State ran the table after that loss on their way to a Big Ten Championship in 2016.
Michigan stands at 5-1 so far this season with their only loss coming at the hands of Michigan State. The Wolverines have a tremendous defense and lead all of college football allowing just 224 yards per game. Mo Hurst anchors the defensive line and is on pace for All-American honors. The offense is significantly less impressive and ranks near the bottom of the Big Ten. John O’Korn stepped into the starting quarterback role after a season ending injury to Wilton Speight. He struggled greatly last weak managing only 58 yards passing as the team squeaked out an overtime win against Indiana. Michigan may need to lean on running back Karan Higdon who exploded for 200 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns last week.
Penn State climbed to #2 in the nation last week and is undefeated at 6-0. There is a lot to be excited about for the Nittany Lions as they have lived up to very high preseason expectations. Penn State has an impressive defense of their own as they lead the nation in scoring defense at 9.0 points per game. Running back Saquon Barkley has powered the offense leading the team in rushing and receiving. He is a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and fun to watch with incredible speed, strength, and agility. While Penn State has been dominant up to this point, many believe they have not truly been tested. So, it will be interesting to see how they perform against a top tier team.
Prediction and Betting Advice:
Penn State will be amped up for this game and 106,000 fans will have Beaver Stadium rocking on Saturday night. Michigan will have a hard time accomplishing anything on offense as they operate in a hostile environment with a highly inefficient quarterback against a top defense. Saquon Barkley is a rare talent and not even the stout Michigan defense will be able to contain his explosiveness. Also, look for Trace McSorley to make some big plays as Michigan focusses on containing Barkley. Penn State is thirsty for revenge after last year and I think they will win big and cover the 7.5 point spread.