The Spartans beat Penn State outright as a 10-point underdog just last year. They came into this season as the No. 11 ranked team in the nation.
The wheels have simply fallen off of Mark Dantonio’s team. There hasn’t been a good week for the Spartans as they are 1-4 against the spread to start the season. This includes narrowly escaping Week 1 with a 38-31 win against Utah State, a 16-13 loss to Arizona State and the latest black eye on Dantonio’s resume, a 29-19 loss to Northwestern.
The Nittany Lions are coming off a bye week following their devastating loss at home to Ohio State. The bye week will likely shake off the hangover effect they may have felt after the OSU defeat.
Look to see Penn State come out of the gates firing against a Michigan State defense who gives up an average of 339 yards per game. The surprising thing about that number is that the Spartans haven’t played any explosive offenses yet.
Michigan State has the No. 84 ranked scoring offense that will match up against a Penn State defense which has gotten better throughout the season. Apart from a tragic last eight minutes against Ohio State, Penn State suffocated Dwayne Haskins and the running back duo of J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber.
Most of the offense from Ohio State was simply due to poor adjustments to screen passes from Penn State. James Franklin surely will have had addressed this issue extensively throughout these last two weeks of practice, and I can’t see that play being much of a problem with the lack of explosiveness from the Spartans.
Penn State will jump out to a 21-3 lead at the half off of a red-hot McSorley. Michigan State will score in its first possession of the third, drumming up a slight panic for a packed Beaver Stadium. Penn State will then go on to manufacture three scoring drives, two of which will result in a pair of Sanders touchdowns. After a garbage time touchdown, Penn State goes on to win and cover convincingly, 38-17.
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