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Dawg Preview Schiano takes his Knights to Happy Valley to take on Franklin's Nittany Lions

Happy Valley
Penn State Nittany Lions vs Michigan Wolverines' Photo Credit: Big Ten Backers Podcast

The Rutger Knights (6-4 3-4 Big 10) will travel to Happy Valley, PA to face Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2 5-2 Big 10). Penn State -20.5 O/U 41.5


Broadcast Information:


Noon EST Kickoff on Fox Sports One

Chris Myers is calling the game, with former Ohio State running back Rober Smith.

Penn State side radio broadcast will be provided by Penn State Sports Network.

Play by Play: Steve Jones and Color Former Nittany Lion Jack Ham

Rutgers side radio broadcast will be provided by WRSU 88.7 FM Rutgers Radio


What's at Stake?


You've probably been told Rutgers is part of the birthplace of college football. Rutgers may be the birthplace of college football, but they haven't had a great tradition of winning big games; you can bet Greg Schiano would love to change that and grab a massive program win in Happy Valley. Greg has his Knights of Rutgers back to chopping wood this season getting Rutgers to 6-4 on the season and back to bowling, for the first time since 2014 under then-Head Coach Kyle Flood.


James Franklin and the Nittany Lions have been the pre-annual 3rd place team in the Big Ten East. They had high-in-the-sky apple pie hopes to change that last week but failed to overcome the running offense of Michigan. You may ask how much motivation and energy the Lions will have after getting the winds pulled out of their sails. Penn State again is looking in the mirror at another 'turd place finish'. I mean a third-place finish. Are the Lions hungry or hungover, lost, and looking for 'Doug Hangover style'? We shall see this Saturday at 12 pm Eastern on Fox Sports 1.



Key Player - Rutgers

RB #5 Kyle Monagai 181 carries, 942 yards, 7 TDs, 5.2 per carry.


Keys to a Rutgers Victory:

Get your keys out and let's fire up the old Ford and drive in the keys to the game. I see this Rutgers team trying the Michigan model so expect lots of carries for running back Kyle Monangai. He has been the workhorse for Rutgers. He's averaging 5.3 yards per carry against top 25 teams. You can follow the model, but do you have the same architects? Rutgers is only 4 yards below Michigan's 173.1 yards per game rushing average. So, they're in a way built like a baby Michigan with a lot less talent overall. Can Rutgers get it done? If so, they may need to look to special teams and Rutgers nation leading kickoff return yard average sitting at 55 per return. Look for that Knights defense to challenge Penn State in the red zone. They currently sit at 7th for red zone defense. All those key components for Rutgers must be running on high octane, oiled up, and pressure tested for Gregg and his Knights to pull off this win in Happy Valley.



Key Player - Penn State Nittany Lions

DE #20 Adisa Issac 16 solo, 6.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble.


Keys to a Penn State Victory:


Man, where do we go with Penn State, they had all the determination and hopes until they met Ohio State in Columbus and a disappointing performance at home against the Wolverines. Well too bad, hopes don't win games in November. Fresh off the firing of Mike Yurcich, and another disappointing outing for James Franklin. The same James, who is starting to hear more and more ramblings of Penn State fans wanting to move on from the Franklin era. The question is, where is Penn State today, lots of drama in one week. Can they get hungry to compete against a pesky team from New Jersey? They better stop licking their wounds and move on. I would say the keys to the game are as such or it's this or that, but it doesn't matter. Penn State is the far better team. You could use the ability and arm of QB Drew Allar, or the running game of RB Katron Allen, or just maybe lean on the Big 10's best sacking unit, or the nation's fourth-best scoring defense. Ok sorry readers, I'm assuming you got my point. Penn State is the more talented, and better-equipped team in this match-up at every position. It will come down to them not beating themselves and not stuck on what might have been. You have to be in the "We are Penn State," not the "We are Lost" come Saturday, or Rutgers could hang around and pull out the upset.


Prediction:

Penn State's defense nationally is ranked second in total yards and yards per game allowed, match that with Penn State's 4th best scoring defense in the nation and well that spells doom for the Knights. Oh, let's not forget Penn State's ability to get sacks (the number two team in total sacks). It's going to be a long day for Rutgers QB Gavin Wimsatt. Rutger RB, previously mentioned, Kyle Monagai will need to have a career day to help Wimsatt and his Knights win on 1st down to prevent Wimsatt turnovers from the overwhelming pressure Penn State D-Line can and will provide. I don't see RB Kyle Monagai having a career day against one of the best Defenses of college football. Rutger will hang around until the mid-third quarter as Penn State's stale offense led by Drew Allar pulls away late. Penn State wins 27-10. Take Rutgers (+20.5) to cover and the under (40.5)!


* Editors Note - CFD would like to welcome Adam Hicks of Big Ten Backers Podcast as a Contributor

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