Trace McSorley. Miles Sanders. KJ Hamler. These are names Michigan State fans should be prepared to hear this Saturday.

Penn State’s offense is explosive, on the ground and through the air, and the defense is stout, so what can the Spartans do to pull out an upset over the the Nittany Lions?

Stop Sanders

In the loss to the Buckeyes, Sanders struggled for the most part. He was limited to 43 yards on 16 carries, although he did run in a score. This put McSorley in a strange position to carry both the rushing and passing load on offense.

He did excel in both against Ohio State, completing 16 of his 32 passes for 286 yards and two TDs while rushing for 175 yards on 25 rushing attempts.

I am not saying this to pad McSorley’s ego or be apart of the Happy Valley fan club. Michigan State should put him in the same position this week. Relying on that much offense from one player is asking for bad things to happen.

The Spartans have the personnel to do the job. Michigan State’s defense, through five games, has allowed 33.8 yards on the ground on about 25.6 attempts (1.3 yards per carry).

Michigan State needs less of these McSorley runs:

And more of this from the front seven:

Penn State will have more than 34 rushing yards against the Spartans, but if the defense can slow down Sanders, and limit McSorley’s scrambles, Michigan State will have a shot.

Rip through the screen

If there is one thing that has torn apart the Penn State defense this season, it has to be yards after the catch. No matter what opponent, Ohio State to Illinois to Appalachian State, screens and swing passes have worked consistently against the Nittany Lions.

Against Illinois:

Ohio State on the game-winning touchdown drive:

Michigan State has the talent to take advantage of this weak spot. Felton Davis III consistently sheds tacklers and Darrell Stewart Jr. can be one of the hardest receivers to tackle in the Big Ten. Add in the running back LJ Scott and the speedy receiver Jalen Nailor, and Brian Lewerke should be able to have a good game against the Nittany Lions off from plays like this alone.

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Author Details
I’m a Michigan State student, working on my sports journalism degree. I’m basketball junkie and an NBA diehard that flirts with football and baseball in my off time. Although I have been suffering Detroit sports fan for an embarrassing amount of years, last few years of the Michigan State-Michigan rivalry, in all sports, has kept me afloat. Though my passion and love is in sports, I’m engrained in rap and anime culture as well so I am always down for a conversation about the latest Drake or JID project or the new Dragon Ball Super episodes. Oh, and Matthew Stafford is a top 10 NFL quarterback. To paraphrase MSU great Kirk Cousins, “I LIKE THAT.”
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I’m a Michigan State student, working on my sports journalism degree. I’m basketball junkie and an NBA diehard that flirts with football and baseball in my off time. Although I have been suffering Detroit sports fan for an embarrassing amount of years, last few years of the Michigan State-Michigan rivalry, in all sports, has kept me afloat. Though my passion and love is in sports, I’m engrained in rap and anime culture as well so I am always down for a conversation about the latest Drake or JID project or the new Dragon Ball Super episodes. Oh, and Matthew Stafford is a top 10 NFL quarterback. To paraphrase MSU great Kirk Cousins, “I LIKE THAT.”
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