No. 10 Penn State Football faces its most daunting test of the season, traveling to the Big House to take on the No. 5 ranked Michigan Wolverines, with the chance to make a significant statement on the national stage.
Here are three bold predictions for Penn State Football vs. Michigan
3. Lions defense holds Blake Corum under 100 yards rushing
Michigan running back Blake Corum, who missed the game in Happy Valley last season, is off to a scorching hot start and is even popping up on some early Heisman lists.
Corum has rushed for 735 yards and 11 touchdowns through their first six games, averaging 123 yards per game and just over six yards per attempt. He has been the catalyst to the Wolverines offense that averages 43 points per contest.
However, Corum has not faced a defense nearly as stingy as Penn State Football’s to this point. The Nittany Lions come into this game allowing just under 80 yards per game, which is good for second in the Big Ten. The emergence of freshman linebacker Abdul Carter along with defensive tackle PJ Mustipher healthy and playing his best football makes this run defense scary good.
The Lions will look to keep Corum bottled up and make the young signal caller JJ McCarthy beat them with his arm. As long as the defense keeps Corum from breaking off any long 50+ yard runs, they will keep him under 100 yards for the first time all season.
2. Brenton Strange goes for 100+ yards and 2 Touchdowns
Tight end Brenton Strange has been a pleasant surprise for Penn State Football’s offense this season, averaging over 15 yards a catch and already collecting four touchdown grabs.
The weak spot of this Michigan defense resides in the middle at linebacker. Michigan beat writer for 247sports Zach Shaw was on the Lions247 podcast this week and highlighted that if Michigan has a weakness, it’s over the middle of the field and that tight ends and players like Parker Washington in the slot can definitely exploit them.
In the win over Northwestern, Strange had one target, one catch and a touchdown. He needs to be one of, if not, the primary target Saturday. He has shown an ability to break tackles and move after the catch as well.
Michigan runs primarily a press man defensive scheme, meaning Strange will get mismatched with linebackers and safeties, so it will be up to OC Mike Yurcich and quarterback Sean Clifford to make sure they exploit those mitmatches.
We’ll say they do exploit it, and Strange has his biggest game yet as a Nittany Lion.
Penn State Football beats Michigan by Double Digits
The headline of Penn State walking into Ann Arbor and leaving with a double digit victory seems almost TOO bold, but is it?
Only a few weeks ago this team walked into a raucous Jordan-Hare Stadium and trounced Auburn 41-12. Granted that is seemingly a bad Auburn team, beating them the way they did is noteworthy nonetheless, especially the way they manhandled them at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
Michigan is a good football team, but a lot of their 5th ranking is based off of what they accomplished last season. To this point they have played four of the worst offenses in all of college football and are starting a quarterback in McCarthy who has never been in a game like this.
Conversely, it feels like Sean Clifford has played in 17 of these types of games and has shown even just this year, he will be poised, and have command of that offense even in a hostile road environment.
This team felt like it was looking ahead and preparing for this three game stretch starting with the Wolverines from the time they got back on the plane from Auburn. They will rise to the occasion and the offensive line will surprise people and allow the Lions young backs to run the ball. Clifford plays a clean game and makes a few throws and Penn State walks out with a win by 10-14 points.
A note to our readers; If you make a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission.