Michigan vs Penn State: The Michigan Wolverines are trying to keep College Football Playoff hopes alive as they face another test in the form of the Penn State Nittany Lions.
College football fans likely expected more of the same from Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines following a Week 1 loss to Notre Dame. However, they’ve since proved that not to be the case, not only winning out in their seven games since, but looking increasingly impressive in doing so. For those still doubting, however, the Wolverines have another chance to prove their merit on Saturday as they host the Penn State Nittany Lions in Ann Arbor.
Since the season-opening loss to the Irish as newcomer quarterback Shea Patterson looked unsettled in his new post, things have turned dramatically for Michigan, specifically on that side of the ball. Aided by one of the most underrated running backs in the country, Karan Higdon, Patterson and a host of receiving weapons headline by Donovan Peoples-Jones have taken a step forward offensively in a big way.
When coupled with a defense led by veteran star playmakers like Chase Winovich and Devin Bush, it’s no wonder Harbaugh’s squad has been on the run they’ve enjoyed recently. Moreover, it’s worth noting that their run of success hasn’t been just beating up bad teams. Rather, the Wolverines have dominated both Wisconsin and Michigan State in their last two outings.
The recent run for Penn State has been a bit less friendly. Not only did they lose to the aforementioned Spartans, but also dropped a heartbreaker to Ohio State in the previous game as well. While they’re coming off a gritty win over Iowa, the Nittany Lions have been in a bit of a dry spell of late.
As for why that’s been the case, the play of quarterback Trace McSorley can be highlighted. Though a proven playmaker and leader, McSorley has been pedestrian in his production as of late. Subsequently, the offense as a whole has been lackluster, which is a pitfall for this team with a defense that’s prone to spells of inconsistency.