The Michigan Wolverines are 5-0, but don’t let that record fool you, they have had a couple close games against lesser opponents this season. Brady Hoke has seen his Wolverines win close games against the Connecticut Huskies and Akron Zips in back-to-back weeks, worrying fans. However, a blowout win in week six settled doubters down.
On the other side of the field, the Penn State Nittany Lions are still looking to make a statement in 2013. They are severely underperforming and looking nothing like the team they were a season ago with Matt McGloin under center. Bill O’Brien has had some tough luck through six weeks thus far, sitting at 3-2.
Michigan is coming off a big win and will likely take that momentum to Happy Valley. The Wolverines saw the offense perk up a bit in week six, scoring 42 points and trusting more in Devin Gardner than they had in weeks past. Gardner completed 13 of 17 passes for 235 yards for a touchdown in the team’s win. The offense scored a lot of points, but still accumulated less than 400 yards in the win against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The run game was poor in the game — the Wolverines will need Fitzgerald Toussaint to step up for the remainder of the season.
Penn State is led by a freshman quarterback in Christian Hackenberg who has been solid this season, passing for 1,367 yards and eight touchdowns, but has shown signs of inaccuracy and poor decision-making with four interceptions in five games. Throwing to star wide receiver Allen Robinson will make any quarterback look solid. Robinson has caught 38 passes for 621 yards and five touchdowns — all team-highs. This guy is a stud.
The Wolverines allow 19.4 points per game as well as 305 yards per games as one of the best defensive units in the Big Ten. Defensively, the Nittany Lions allow a bit more in each category. In fact, they allow 325 yards and 20.4 points per game this season. This could be a defensive battle.
Michigan will travel to Penn State to take on the Nittany Lions at 5 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 12. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Michigan 30, Penn State 21