Penn State looks to rebound from first loss of the season
Prior to 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 since they led the Buckeyes 26-14 with eight minutes remaining in the match. However, two late strikes by Dwayne Haskins led to a narrow 27-26 Ohio State win in Week 5. Penn State currently has had just two weeks to stew over this loss and will seem to release this 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 older 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. Furthermore, they have 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 nation, and senior cornerback Amani Oruwariye has made passing difficult since he has two interceptions.
This past year, Michigan State hosted Penn State and pulled off the upset since it was rated No. 24 while the Nittany Lions were ranked No. 7. Penn State carried a 24-21 lead into the fourth quarter but was shut out and held to only 87 yards in the final quarter, while Michigan State finished two field goals to secure the 27-24 win. The Spartans restricted the Nittany Lions to only 65 rushing yards in the game, including shutting down Saquon Barkley for just 63 yards. Then-sophomore Brian Lewerke pitched 400 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win, while Trace McSorley threw a season-high 381 yards while tacking on three touchdowns of his own about the losing side.
Michigan State struggling offensively this year Michigan State saw its two-game winning streak come to an end last week since it dropped 29-19 into 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 combined points in its own victories over Indiana and Central Michigan while racking up 695 total yards of offense. But turnovers were a glaring problem as junior quarterback Brian Lewerke threw two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions in those 2 games.
The Spartans average 27.2 points per game, which is 85th in the country, and Lewerke has thrown for 1,328 yards with six TDs and six interceptions on the year. Defensively, though, Michigan State has been very powerful, permitting 23.4 points per game, which is 41st in the NCAA, and giving up just 33.8 rush yards per game, that is the best mark in the nation with a 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 matches. The Spartans will need to prevent the Nittany Lions run game if they need a chance to win.
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