RUSH OFFENSE vs. PSU RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is #79 with 156.2 yards per game on the ground, led by Zach Charbonnet’s 376 yards. Backup Hassan Haskins appears to be the hot hand right now after a 125-yard performance last week, but that was his first extended playing time. Michigan offensive guard Michael Onwenu was named to some mid-season All-American lineups, but overall, the offensive line has been a bit of a disappointment. Penn State is #3 in rush defense (53.3 yards allowed/game) and #1 in yards allowed per carry (1.59). The Nittany Lions have only allowed 1 rushing touchdown. Middle linebacker Micah Parsons (6’3″, 245 lbs.) leads the team with 31 tackles and is among the team leaders with 6 tackles for loss.
Advantage: Penn State
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PASS OFFENSE vs. PSU PASS DEFENSE
The Wolverines are #73 in passing offense (231.2 yards/game) and passer efficiency rating. Quarterback Shea Patterson has been nothing special with 57.2% completions, 7.7 yards per attempt, 9 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Slot receiver Ronnie Bell leads the team with 20 catches for 361 yards, but Michigan has been very inconsistent with getting the ball to its touted wideouts. Patterson often looks confused and rarely gets the ball out on time. Penn State is #49 in pass defense (205.8 yards allowed/game) but #12 in passer efficiency defense. Defensive ends Yetur Gross-Matos (6’5″, 264) and Shaka Toney (6’3″, 243) each have 5.5 sacks. Cornerback and captain John Reid (5’10”, 181) leads the team with 2 picks, 1 for a touchdown.
Advantage: Penn State
RUSH DEFENSE vs. PSU RUSH OFFENSE
Michigan is #39 in rush defense (122.8 yards allowed/game) and tied for #16 in yards allowed per carry (2.97). Linebackers Khaleke Hudson (58) and Jordan Glasgow (47) lead the team in tackles. The Wolverines have done a good job in recent weeks with clogging up the middle by pinching defensive ends and such, but the ability of their defensive tackles to hold up is still a big question mark. The only established impact player on the interior is nose tackle Carlo Kemp. Penn State is #43 in rushing offense (191.2 yards/game) and #50 in yards per carry (4.76). Running back Noah Cain (5’10”, 206) has two straight 100-yard games, and quarterback Sean Clifford (6’2″, 216) runs the ball just under 10 times per game.
PASS DEFENSE vs. PSU PASS OFFENSE
Michigan is #9 in passing defense (160.5 yards allowed/game) and #20 in passer efficiency rating defense. They have allowed 3 touchdowns while making 5 interceptions so far, including 2 each from cornerbacks Lavert Hill and Ambry Thomas. Michigan is #13 in sacks with 21, led by defensive end Kwity Paye and linebacker Joshua Uche (4.5 each), along with linebacker Jordan Glasgow (4.0). Penn State is tied at #42 with 10 sacks allowed. They’re #36 in passing offense (274.2 yards/game) and #18 passer rating, with 14 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions thrown so far. Clifford is averaging 9.8 yards per attempt on 64.2% completions. The Nittany Lions’ top two receivers are both big-play guys with K.J. Hamler (5’9″, 176) making 26 catches for 455 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus Jahan Dotson (5’11”, 175) adding 3 touchdowns on 18.6 yards per catch. Tight end Pat Freiermuth (6’5″, 256) has good overall numbers, but 8 catches for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns came against Buffalo; outside of the game, he has 9 catches for 104 yards and 1 score. The numbers suggest that maybe Michigan has an advantage, but I think Penn State will be able to manipulate the matchups in the secondary to take advantage of the Wolverines.
Advantage: Penn State
- Penn State players recruited by Michigan include: LB Ellis Brooks, RB Noah Cain, DT Judge Culpepper, LB Lance Dixon, WR Jahan Dotson, WR John Dunmore, DT D’von Ellies, RB Devyn Ford, OL Will Fries, WR K.J. Hamler, DT Fred Hansard, DT Adisa Isaac, S C.J. Holmes, CB Donovan Johnson, QB Michael Johnson Jr., DE Daniel Joseph, TE Zack Kuntz, OL Michael Menet, DT P.J. Mustipher, DE Jayson Oweh, LB Micah Parsons, CB John Reid, WR Justin Shorter, RB Ricky Slade, LB Brandon Smith, S Jonathan Sutherland, S Garrett Taylor
- Penn State S Garrett Taylor was committed to Michigan at one time
- Penn State players from the State of Michigan include: LB Lance Dixon (West Bloomfield), WR K.J. Hamler (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s), CB Donovan Johnson (Cass Tech)
- Penn State CB Joey Porter, Jr. is the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers LB Joey Porter
- Michigan players from the State of Pennsylvania include: OL Kraig Correll, LB Khaleke Hudson, DT Donovan Jeter, WR Jack Young
LAST TIME THEY PLAYED…
- Michigan beat Penn State by a score of 42-7 in 2018
- Michigan ran for 259 yards, including 132 from Karan Higdon
- Brandon Watson returned an interception 62 yards for a TD
- Penn State QB Trace McSorley was 5/13 for 83 yards, 0 TD, and 1 INT and was held to -6 yards on 12 rushing attempts
- Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey both play and look bad
- Michigan fumbles 2 more times
- Penn State 24, Michigan 14
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