Penn State looks to rebound from first loss of the Year
Before its bye week, Penn State collided with then-No. 4 Ohio State at Beaver Stadium. Things were looking great for the Nittany Lions to improve to 5-0 on the season as they led the Buckeyes 26-14 with eight minutes remaining in the game. However, two late strikes by Dwayne Haskins resulted in a narrow 27-26 Ohio State win in Week 5. Penn State currently has had two weeks to stew over this loss and will seem to release that anger upon Michigan State at Week 7.
Penn State has a huge crime that has averaged 49.6 points each match, fifth-most in the nation. The Nittany Lions are led by senior dual-threat quarterback Trace McSorley, who has thrown for 1,049 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions while rushing for 410 yards and six TDs as well. Additionally, they possess junior running back Miles Sanders, who ranks 26th in the NCAA with 538 rushing yards and has scored six touchdowns. Defensively, Penn State has allowed 21 points a game which ranks 34th in the country, and senior cornerback Amani Oruwariye has made passing difficult since he’s two interceptions.
Last year, Michigan State hosted Penn State and pulled off the upset since it was ranked No. 24 while the Nittany Lions were ranked No. 7. Penn State carried a 24-21 lead into the fourth quarter but was closed out and held to just 87 yards in the last quarter, while Michigan State completed two field goals to fasten the 27-24 win. The Spartans limited the Nittany Lions to just 65 rushing yards in the game, such as shutting down Saquon Barkley for only 63 yards. Then-sophomore Brian Lewerke pitched 400 yards and two touchdowns in the win, while Trace McSorley threw a season-high 381 yards while tacking on three touchdowns of his own on the losing side.
Michigan State struggling offensively this year Michigan State saw its two-game winning streak come to a conclusion last week as it dropped 29-19 to Northwestern, the Spartans’ second loss of the season. Michigan State seemed to be trending in the ideal direction prior to the loss, setting up 66 joint points in its own victories over Indiana and Central Michigan while racking up 695 total yards of offense. However, turnovers were a glaring issue as junior quarterback Brian Lewerke threw two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions in those 2 games.
The Spartans typical 27.2 points per game, that will be 85th in the country, and Lewerke has thrown for 1,328 yards with six TDs and six interceptions on the season. Defensively, however, Michigan State has been very strong, allowing 23.4 points per game, which is 41st at the NCAA, and giving up just 33.8 rush yards per game, which is the best mark in the country with a very long shot. Junior defensive end Kenny Willekes was a nightmare for offensive linemen, racking up four sacks and 16 solo tackles throughout the first five games. The Spartans will need to prevent the Nittany Lions run game if they need an opportunity to win.
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