TBHR Roundtable: Michigan at Penn State

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football, TBHR Roundtable

Game Predictions:
Michigan at Penn State

(Photo: Isaiah Hole, 247Sports)
(Photo: Isaiah Hole, 247Sports)

Derek Devine – @DerekWDevine

Michigan 28, Penn State 21

Michigan will travel to Happy Valley this weekend to face a Penn State squad that is hungry to prove that they are a serious contender in the B1G East. Keep in mind, Penn State has a shot at beating two top 15 teams in a row (Michigan 11/21, Michigan State 11/28). Ohio State plays the same two teams in opposite order, so yeah, things could get pretty chaotic on the East side.

Once again, Michigan is the better team on paper (still getting used to that), but as we have seen in the Wolverines last two road appearances, records and statistics don’t mean anything. Michigan is two plays away from being 6-4 (3-3 B1G), yet one muffed punt away from having a 9-1 (6-0 B1G) record.

So if this isn’t already obvious enough: ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!

Regardless of records, Michigan needs to come out and execute on Saturday. The Wolverines are definitely beatable, so it will take a great effort to take down Penn State in front of an electric crowd in Beaver Stadium.

Michigan wins if the Wolverines can find a balanced attack on offense, and avoid surrendering 350+ yards on defense.

Von Lozon – @Von_Lozon

Michigan 28, Penn State 20

I think this will be another really close road game for the Maize and Blue. After another near heart break last weekend at Indiana, Michigan is faced with another tough task of going to Penn State. The Nittany Lions have been playing their best ball as of late and nearly beat a hard fighting Northwestern team on the road. If Michigan can win this one, I think they have a prime chance at Ohio State come Thanksgiving weekend. Michigan will win this game if, and only if, Jabrill Peppers is seen more on offense. Peppers wasn’t a big factor in the game last weekend and it really hurt us down the stretch. That third down and goal play should have at least seen Peppers on the field to be a decoy, if not be handed the ball. Peppers is Michigan’s superstar and they MUST utilize his talent more often than not. Expect this game to be another close shootout.

David Mormino – @DavidMormino

Michigan 24, Penn State 13

Michigan is in a serious ‘must win’ game this weekend against Penn State. Before anyone can even consider talking about a run at the Big Ten title, they need to take care of business at noon on Saturday. The Wolverines cannot afford to slip up this weekend, and I believe that Penn State is a team that could possibly ruin the hopes of Michigan fans across the country. However, I think with the play of Jake Rudock as of late, and the fact that they would have a chance to play for more than just bragging rights next weekend, will lift the Wolverines this week. Rudock has been playing like a man possessed, which has led Michigan to back-to-back forty-point outings, and guiding Michigan to the number twelve ranked team in the country. Michigan goes to Happy Valley and makes sure next week versus Ohio State will be a war for the Big Ten East.

Chad Finley – @FinFive1

Michigan 24, Penn State 13

Michigan is coming in off of a close double overtime win last week, so I expect them to have a slow start Saturday. The defensive front will need to put a ton of pressure on Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg because they have allowed veteran QB’s to have some success in the passing game. It is a road game, another struggle Michigan has had this year, with the Nittany Lions fans are showing up for a white out. With all of these concerns in mind, I believe Michigan will overcome and get its 9th victory of the season. The defense will get a few sacks, a turnover or two and contain the Nittany Lions pass attack. The Wolverines will struggle versus Penn State’s tough pass defense but that will allow the running game to evolve. Look for Michigan to score on s kickoff return too. For Michigan to win the game they have to stay focused on this week and not for a second look ahead to next weeks showdown with its rival.

Patrick Connors – @TheRealPConnors

Michigan 20, Penn State 13

Penn State is coming off of a bye week and the week before a close loss to the hands of Northwestern. This is a very good Penn State squad. They hung in there with Ohio State. Look for Carl Nassib to reek havoc in Michigan’s back field and when given time, Hackenburg looks like a stud along with Saquon Barkley. However that glaring weakness at offensive line should give Michigan a huge advantage upfront. I expect between 4-6 sacks on Saturday along with a ton of QB hurries. Look for Penn State to try to counter with a lot of Jet Sweeps so the back seven of Michigan will have to be prepared. I expect Michigan to go into Happy Valley and pull out a close win on the road, setting up a HUGE match up next weekend.

Michigan wins IF they get pressure on Christian Hackenburg and if Michigan can establish a ground game to alleviate some of the pressure from Rudock.

Craig Compton – @Craig_TBHR

Michigan 24, Penn State 17

Michigan has played very close games on the road this year. My confidence in them goes down every time they wear those all white jerseys. They squeaked by with wins over Minnesota and Indiana, and they head to Happy Valley for their last road game of the regular season on Saturday. Do I think Michigan is the better team? Yes. Do I think Penn State is a better team than both Minnesota and Indiana? Yes. With an experienced  quarterback at the helm, Penn State is going to come out firing on all cylinders. Michigans run defense was pretty awful last week, and there’s a possibility Penn State will try to exploit that again this week. I don’t think the Nittany Lions will have too much success through the air on Saturday. Michigans secondary seems too consistent for that to happen in my opinion.
On the other side of the ball, I believe Jake Rudock will have his way in the passing game yet again this week. I look for a big game out of Jake Butt, and think him and Rudock will connect a ton this week. It feels like I have been saying this for weeks, but Michigan NEEDS to get the run game going. At some point there will come a defense that will be able to stop the pass, and without good balance, the Michigan offense will have trouble scoring. I see this being a tight game all afternoon, but at the end I see Michigan prevailing 24-17.
Michigan wins this game if their defense can tighten things up, and they can establish a run game. 

Can Michigan squeeze out another victory on the road?

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Derek Devine
Institutional voice of Alma College during the day, Michigan fanatic at night. Taking TBHR to the next level one post at a time.