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Penn State vs Michigan Game Preview

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Wolverines vs Penn State Game Preview

Out of the Tunnel: Michigan vs. Penn State

This is the most important game in Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan coaching career. Unless, of course, the Wolverines win, then, on Nov. 27, the Ohio State game in Ann Arbor becomes the most important game of his Michigan career.

Welcome to Jim Harbaugh’s highly scrutinized and deeply unsettling world. Where every week is a debate on when Michigan will be Michigan again. It’s another big game this time at Penn State. Which is not in the Big 10 East Division race but still has enough to sidetrack Michigan’s hopes. Wolverines have only played one crucial game this season, and they lost an 18 point lead to Michigan State on the road.

This season will be judged — fairly or not — on Michigan reaching The Game against Ohio State. This gives them a chance to win the East and play in the Big Ten Championship Game for the first time.

Penn began the season with Big Ten title aspirations, but quickly became a prime example of what can happen when a quarterback is injured. QB Sean Clifford’s upper-body injury cost the Lions a win at Iowa and another a week later against Illinois. Clifford was injured against Illinois and did not play in the second half against Iowa.

Penn’s three-game losing streak, which included a 9-point loss at Ohio State, was broken last week with a victory over Maryland.

Wolverines Preview

Within the Michigan offense, there is a philosophical battle raging, and it is centered on the most important position on the field.

Cade McNamara is a reliable starter. He’s a quarterback who can make plays in a run-oriented system while throwing off play-action. But if Michigan can’t run the ball and McNamara has to throw — and the defense knows he has to throw — his velocity and ability are limited.

There’s freshman McCarthy J.J. who is an elite dual-threat. His big-play ability is only limited by the fact that he’ll make mistakes and has been careless with ball security at times. 

Penn State Preview

Clifford is the center of attention. When he has been out, the offense has struggled to reach its full potential. On times when Clifford is healthy — and he’s getting there — the offense runs smoothly and the passing game is threatening with intermediate and deep throws. When he’s not there, the running game, which has battled all season, becomes an anchor for the offense.

At times when Penn State is unable to run the ball, it is unable to throw it effectively. That’s how you lose a nine-overtime game against one of the Big Ten’s weakest teams (Illinois). When the offense did anything it wanted for a half against the Hawkeyes — then couldn’t piece together first downs with Clifford hurt and out — that’s how you lose a game against Iowa.

Prediction: Michigan vs. Penn State 

Penn State’s offense has been plagued by inconsistency all season. Michigan can find enough offense to get out of Happy Valley and onto the next major game in Harbaugh’s coaching career.

This is as long as they safeguard the ball and deal with the chaotic environment (see: avoid drive-killing false start penalties).

Picks

  • Michigan will win, 20-16.
  • Michigan +1 @ -110 
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College Football

Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Game Preview

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Wolverines vs Buckeyes Game Preview

Last weekend, the Big Ten saw a major shake-up as the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines defeated the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time since 2011. The Buckeyes controlled the game for a long time, but couldn’t secure the win to top the Big Ten East.

The Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines will meet at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend. Jim Harbaugh has finally taken his team to the promised land, and the College Football Playoff is now only one win away. It would be their first conference title since 1997, and it would turn Harbaugh’s Michigan coaching career around in a single game.

The Wolverines will face a suffocating Hawkeye defense, which is sixth in yards per play and eighth in turnover margin (1.08 per game). It’ll be intriguing to watch how they do against Michigan’s tenth-ranked scoring offense, which averages 451.2 yards per game.

Betting Trends for Michigan vs. Iowa

  • In their previous eight games, the Wolverines have gone 7-1 against the spread (ATS).
  • For 12 games, the Wolverines have gone 11-1 straight up (SU).
  • In their previous nine games against the Hawkeyes, the Wolverines are 6-3 ATS.
  • In their previous five games versus the West Division, the Wolverines are 4-1 ATS.
  • For their previous 18 games, the Hawkeyes are 12-6 against the spread.
  • In the past five meetings between these two clubs, the UNDER is 4-1.
  • In their previous five games versus the East Division, the Hawkeyes are 5-0 ATS.

Prediction and Pick for Michigan vs. Iowa

Michigan was consistently underestimated by the bookmakers throughout the season but finished up leading the country with a 10-2 ATS record.

The offense is one of the most effective in the league, scoring all of those points and gaining all of those yards while mostly rushing the ball. Hassan Haskins is the centerpiece of this rushing assault, but Blake Corum’s efforts cannot be overlooked. They’re the essence of a one-two punch, and teams have struggled to deal with them.

Even though the Hawkeyes made it to the show, they are the weaker team here. On offense, they struggle to move the ball and average fewer than 300 yards each game. In terms of yards per game, they are outside the Top-120, while their 25.7 points per game rank them 81st. Iowa’s defense is the name of the game, as they rank in the Top-10 in opponent points per game (17.3), yards per game (315.8), and points per play (17.3). (0.240).

So, while Michigan has a huge lead on offense, their defense is on par with, if not better than, Iowa’s. We believe Michigan and Harbaugh have waited much too long for this opportunity to squander it. We’re betting they’ll run all over the Hawkeyes, cover, and punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff.

  • Michigan Wolverines are a -11.0 favorite (-110)

Spread and Over/Under for Michigan vs. Iowa

  • Michigan has a -11.0 point spread (-110), +11.0 for Iowa (-110)
  • Michigan is a -440 favourite, while Iowa is a +350 favourite.
  • Total: 44.0 (Under -110) (Over -110)
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Wolverines

Michigan football vs. Ohio State Game Preview

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Michigan football vs Ohio State Game Preview

It’s Michigan Week! This year, “The Game” means a bit more since Ohio State and the Wolverines will be competing for a Big Ten Championship and a possible College Football Playoff.

We want it to be scarlet and grey vs. maize and blue for all the conference marbles. In the 122-year history of the Big Ten, the two teams have won 76 Big Ten championships. While there is still one more step after this game, it simply feels fitting that the division title be decided by this game.

Ohio State’s winning strategy

Ohio State appears to be firing on all cylinders right now. There is plenty of reason to be optimistic after last week’s humiliation of Michigan State. When a defense limits a Heisman Trophy candidate running back to 25 yards rushing, there’s cause to be happy.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Wolverines’ defense will be the best they’ve encountered all year, allowing fewer than 300 yards per game. I’m also confident that Michigan hasn’t encountered an offensive with this much firepower, as Ohio has the nation’s best offense.

Aiden Hutchinson and David Ojabo, both sack experts, will have to be tracked down. Ojabo has ten sacks this season, while Hutchinson has 9.5. The offensive line must keep C.J. Stroud’s jersey clean and allow him time to target his exceptional receivers if Ryan Day expects to continue attacking through the air.

Wolverines News

And against a Michigan team that focuses on the run, Ohio State will need a similar effort. The Wolverines enter the contest as the conference’s No. 2 running team, averaging close to 220 yards per game. Hassan Haskins has rushed for 1,000 yards and is the thunder to Blake Corum’s lightning.

It’s unclear if Corum will participate in Saturday’s game. If he does, however, he’s the type of back who can cause problems for Ohio State. Since November 6, when the team played Indiana, the running back has been sidelined with an injury.

When it comes to the Ohio State attack vs. Michigan defense, it may be a case of irresistible force vs. immovable object.

The Prognosis and the Result

With both teams likely to be in the top five and the Big Ten East on the line, it doesn’t get much bigger than Ohio State vs Michigan Football. If you win, you’ll be in contention for conference and national titles. If you lose, you’ll have to listen to your opponent brag for the next 365 days.

Michigan hasn’t had that luxury in a long time… At the time of writing, it has been 3,648 days. Is this the year Jim Harbaugh finally gets rid of the scarlet and grey monkey from his back? After this weekend, might Michigan be in the driver’s seat for a playoff? There’s always a possibility that Michigan will win this rivalry again, but we don’t think it will be this year.

Whatever you do, don’t miss this thrilling match!

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Spartans

Michigan State Spartans vs. Penn State Game Preview

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MSU vs Penn Sate Game Preview

Penn State Football has performed to the level of its competitors for much of the season. This has resulted in an unusual defeat to Illinois and tight games against top-10 ranked Ohio State and MSU’s nearest rivals, Michigan Football.

The Nittany Lions face a top-15 rated Spartans squad in the season finale, who are coming off their worst loss of the season. That 56-7 thrashing by the Buckeyes where they never had a chance.

Following a strong performance against Rutgers, Penn State freshman Christian Veilleux might be rushed into his first career start. Playing Veilleux over Sean Clifford at this point in the season may be best for the program and Clifford, and it may just help the Nittany Lions capitalize on their chances.

Team News, Lions: 

First and foremost, Penn State players must regain their full health. Due to flu-like symptoms, 21 players missed the Rutgers game, and the offensive line was down four starters at one point. In addition, quarterback Sean Clifford’s condition has been called into question once again. Now it’s time to applaud Penn State’s defense. Even though Rutgers didn’t bring much offense to Beaver Stadium, Penn State was still dominant.

Rutgers drove into Penn State territory on one of its 14 possessions, reaching the red zone in the third quarter. Jaquan Brisker and Arnold Ebiketie teamed up to force Rutgers quarterback Noah Vedral into a sack-fumble. Rutgers recovered but subsequently turned over possession in plenty.

Penn State’s 14th red-zone stop of the season (in 37 drives) is a remarkable accomplishment. Especially for a defense that ranks second in the country in allowing the fewest touchdowns. Brisker, Ebiketie, tackle Derrick Tangelo, linebacker Ellis Brooks, and corner-back Joey Porter Jr. have all been outstanding this season. Jordan Stout, the punter, deserves credit for trapping Rutgers within the 20-yard line on six of his eight punts.

Spartans News

After a lackluster performance against the Buckeyes, Michigan State is physically and psychologically exhausted. Ohio State led 49-0 at half-time and went on to win by 49 points while accumulating 655 yards of offense.

Jalen Nailor, left tackle Jarrett Horst, defensive tackle Simeon Barrow, and cornerback Charles Brantley were all inactive for the Spartans. Kenneth Walker III, the Big Ten’s leading rusher, and Jayden Reed, the team’s leading receiver, were both injured during the game.

Spartans coach Mel Tucker, like Penn State’s James Franklin, does not discuss injuries publicly. So, there will be few updates until Saturday. 

Michigan State’s pass defense, on the other hand, has been obvious. The Spartans allow the most completions (341), total passing yards (3,739), and yards per game (339.9) of any of the 130 FBS teams. The number of completions is incredible, with 70 more than Hawaii, which ranks 129th with just 271 completions permitted. Penn State will almost certainly throw across Spartan Stadium, whether Clifford or Christian Veilleux start at quarterback.

Odds And Predictions

  • Penn State is favored by a score of -1.
  • 53.5 in total
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