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 good 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 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 that anger upon Michigan State at Week 7.
Penn State has a huge offense that has averaged 49.6 points per game, fifth-most in the country. 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 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 per game that ranks 34th in the country, and senior cornerback Amani Oruwariye has made passing tough as he has two interceptions.
This past 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 only 87 yards in the last quarter, while Michigan State finished two field goals to secure the 27-24 win. The Spartans limited the Nittany Lions to just 65 rushing yards in the match, such as 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 this year Michigan State saw its two-game winning streak come to an end last week as it dropped 29-19 to Northwestern, the Spartans’ second loss of the season. Michigan State seemed to be trending in the right direction before the loss, putting up 66 joint points in its own victories over Indiana and Central Michigan while racking up 695 total yards of offense. However, turnovers were still a glaring issue as junior quarterback Brian Lewerke threw two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions in these 2 games.
The Spartans typical 27.2 points per game, that is 85th in the nation, and Lewerke has thrown for 1,328 yards with six TDs and six interceptions on the season. Defensively, however, Michigan State has been very powerful, allowing 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 country with a very long shot. Junior defensive end Kenny Willekes has been a nightmare for offensive linemen, racking up four sacks and 16 solo tackles through the first five matches. The Spartans will want to prevent the Nittany Lions run sport if they need an opportunity to win.
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