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Dawg Preview: #4 Michigan Wolverines at #8 Penn State



Michigan leaves Ann Arbor with a cloud of controversy hanging over them and will now head to State College for a matchup with Penn State. This will mark the 4th time the Wolverines and Nittany Lions meet as top 10 teams. Michigan heads into Happy Valley as a 4.5 favorite in their 1st real test of the season. This will be the 14th time the two teams square off at Beaver Stadium with the Wolverines holding a 7-6 Advantage.


Broadcast information:



Kick-off: Saturday, November 11 at Noon EST

TV: Fox

On the Call: Gus Johnson, doing play-by-play, Joel Klatt on the color, and Jenny Taft on the sidelines. Michigan Radio: WWJ AM 950/ 97.1 The Ticket.

Penn State Radio: ESPN radio 103.7fm and 1450am.


Weather:

In State College, PA it's going to be mainly sunny and a high of 46 with only a 20% chance of precipitation. The winds will be coming from the NW at 9mph with wind gusts of around 13mph.


What's at stake?

Michigan heads into the game ranked #4 in the college football playoff ranking. The scandal surrounding the program is what everyone is talking about, and with each new day, more comes out. Michigan at this point still has both the Big 10 championship and National Championship in their sights as they start the hardest part of the season. If Michigan were to lose here it would end any chance of making the Big 10 title game.


This is a must-win game if Penn State hopes to keep its Goal of Playing for a Big 10 title alive. Penn State comes into the game having already played and lost to OSU in Columbus, so this will be their last big test. The Nittany Lions head coach has been underwhelming in top 10 matchups with a record of 3-16. Franklin holds a 1-13 record when facing off against Michigan or OSU when they are ranked in the top 10.


Key players


Michigan: Roman Wilson JJ McCarthy, Semaj Morgan

Penn State: Drew Allar Adisa Isaac, KeAndre Lambert-Smith


Key matchups


JJ vs Drew Allar



This game will be decided by quarterback play, with Penn State coming in ranked first and Michigan third in rush defense, both teams will need to air it out to win. This will be the best defense JJ has seen all year and Michigan fans can finally see if he is a Heisman contender. Allar didn’t play his best game vs OSU and will be looking to make up for it. Both QBs are having a good year. Allar has completed 181 passes for 1895 yards with a 62.8 completion percentage, 20 TDs with only 1 Interception. JJ has 156 completions for 2134 yards with a 75.7 completion percentage, 18 TDs, and 3 Interceptions. Both quarterbacks have been sacked 11 times this season.


Michigan Wolverines vs Outside Noise




If heading to play in Beaver Stadium wasn’t daunting enough, Michigan players have been dealing with one of the biggest scandals in NCAA history. If there was ever a game where Michigan could lose focus and play undisciplined it’s this one. Michigan players have been tasked with an almost impossible job of blocking out the outside noise and just focusing on the game they need to play.


Michigan Passing Attack vs Penn States Pass Defense



Penn State comes into the game with the top-ranked run defense in the Big 10, and with Michigan's Offensive line not as dominant. The Wolverine wide receivers will need to make plays all afternoon. Michigan comes into Saturday with the #3 passing offense in the Big 10. In 9 games Michigan has completed 175 passes for 2314 yards and has caught 20 touchdowns. Penn State will look to slow down JJ by taking his number 1 target Roman Wilson away. Look for Penn State to put Kalen King their best defensive back on Wilson to try and take him out of the game. This man-on-man matchup will be something to watch all afternoon, and whoever wins will be one of the deciding factors in who walks away with the win.


Prediction:

This is going to be a heavyweight fight between two of the top teams in the Big 10. Jim Harbaugh will use the outside noise to motivate his players and have them ready to play. On the flip side, James Franklin in these types of games just can’t be trusted to make the right calls to win. Michigan Wolverines leaves State College with the win and the cover.

Michigan 28-PSU 17




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