Penn State looks to rebound from first loss of the Year
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 game. But 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 look to release this anger upon Michigan State in Week 7.
Penn State has a tremendous offense that has averaged 49.6 points per match, 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. Additionally, they possess junior running 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 as he has two interceptions.
This past year, Michigan State hosted Penn State and pulled off the upset as 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 hauled to only 87 yards in the last quarter, while Michigan State completed two field goals to fasten the 27-24 win. The Spartans restricted the Nittany Lions to only 65 rushing yards in the match, including shutting down Saquon Barkley for just 63 yards. Then-sophomore Brian Lewerke pitched 400 yards and two touchdowns in the win, while Trace McSorley threw a season-high 381 metres while tacking on three touchdowns of his own on the side.
Michigan State struggling offensively this season Michigan State saw its two-game winning streak come to a conclusion last week since it fell 29-19 to Northwestern, the Spartans’ second loss of the year. Michigan State seemed to be trending in the right direction prior to the loss, putting up 66 joint points in its victories over Indiana and Central Michigan while racking up 695 total yards of offense. But turnovers were a glaring issue as junior quarterback Brian Lewerke threw two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions in these two games.
The Spartans average 27.2 points per game, that will be 85th in the nation, and Lewerke has thrown for 1,328 yards with six TDs and six interceptions on the year. Defensively, though, Michigan State has been very strong, allowing 23.4 points per game, which is 41st in the NCAA, and giving up only 33.8 rush yards per game, that is the best mark in the nation 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 game if they want an opportunity to win.
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