Location: Big House
Weather: 70 and Cloudy
Line: Michigan -19
The Big Ten season is here and Michigan opens at home against a big name program that has struggled of late. Penn State has struggled after the NCAA hit them hard over worst thing that has ever happened to a college football program. The program still doesn't understand what is going on and even celebrated Joe Paterno last week. ESPN called them tone deaf and this is the best term I could think of.
If you believe in karma, Penn State is on the wrong end of it.
This match-up favors Michigan in almost every aspect. Penn State's injuries also remain a huge concern. Running back Saquon Barkley Penn State's best player missed most of the game last week with an ankle injury. Nyeem Wartman-White blew out his knee and will miss the rest of the year. Both Jason Cabinba and Brandon Bell were not available against Temple.
Tale of the Tape
3rd Downs = Michigan Defense
Coaching = Michigan
Talent = Michigan
Chad Henne vs. Christian Hackenberg = Henne
Michigan better not need 1 second to win this game. In fact, I feel a lot better for this game then I did Colorado or even UCF. My worst fear this year, is a spread team that will go Indiana on Michigan. That fear exposed itself in the first quarter of last week and the Wolverines weathered the storm.
Penn State is now a spread team and wants to play with tempo. This is the first year they have run the spread as they try to move away from Hackenberg. They have hit a couple big plays and their QB leads the Big Ten in passing with 828 yards. They rank 117th in 3rd down conversions going 9 of 33. The Michigan defense ranks #1 in the nation on 3rd down going 4 for 38. If you remember the RR days (I know you do), the worst thing a tempo spread team can do is go 3 and out, because they do it fast and don't give their defense anytime to rest.
If Michigan welcomes Jourdan Lewis and Taco back. Penn State's offense will be in for a long day.
Yell, this is how we start a Big Ten season if.....................................
- Michigan is running through PSU's young LB's
- Jourdan Lewis is 100% healthy
- Michigan's WR's have a big day
- Smith runs for over 100 yards
- Penn State hits big plays down field
- Saquon Barkley is able to run the ball
- Speight turns the ball over
- This is still a game in the 4th quarter
The only reason the line is under 3 touchdowns is because Penn State is a big name program. The only threat here is that Michigan over looks this game for a ranked Wisconsin next week. I doubt that will happen after last weeks wake up call and it shouldn't be hard for the team to be ready to play a brand name school.
Penn State is 2-1 and has struggled against pretty poor completion, with their loss coming on the road to Pitt. They will meet the #4 team in the country on Saturday at the Big House. Penn State's QB Trace McSorley has a name right out of "Back to the Future" and will try to throw over the top of Michigan's defense, while they try to hit big plays with Barkley on the ground.
Michigan should be able to move the ball on this defense without much trouble. I would love to see our running game take a step forward. Wilton should also be able to find open wide receivers with a nice mix of run and pass. Penn State's best chance is to play fast and try to catch Michigan's defense off guard. I like Michigan's chances with Lewis, Taco and Gary playing a ton. Penn State is not Oregon and I think Michigan is excited for Big Ten play and jumps out big early.
Michigan 44 Penn State 12