Matchup: Penn State Nittany Lions (7-4) @ Michigan State Spartans
Where: Spartan Stadium
When: Saturday, November 27th @ 3:30pm EST
Believe it or not its already the final week of the regular season, with just a matchup with Michigan State and a potential bowl game to go. The Nittany Lions certainly had higher expectations for this year but this week gives them the opportunity to upset a top ranked Michigan State team and grab their 8th win of the season. Can they go on the road and get the job done? The For the Glory team predicts:
Brandon Musso (7-4)
After a tough week battling a non-covid related sickness that made its way through the team, the Nittany Lions were able to grab a win over Rutgers. With Sean Clifford sidelined after just a few series, we got our first good look at Christian Veilleux and he didn’t disappoint. He managed to spark the offense and lead them through a couple of nice drives that resulted in touchdowns. His play was nice positive to pull from the game as we ponder Clifford’s replacement.
This week it appears as though Clifford will be a full go and will start on the road vs. Michigan State. With that in mind, he seems poised to have a big game through the air as the Spartans are averaging 339.9 passing yards allowed per game. On paper, this appears to be one of their weaknesses to look out for. The key to the game will be Clifford’s ability to exploit that weakness and put points in the board.
Although I’ve offered a brief look at the numbers, I often go by feel for games and I don’t have a good one about this one. Despite the fact that Michigan St. is coming off an absolute blowout at the hands of Ohio State, there always seems to be a strange aura when Penn State travels to East Lansing. There has been no shortage of weird games that haven’t gone the Nittany Lions way. For that reason, I’m predicting that it is a great back and forth game that turns in the Spartans favor at the end after some weird circumstances.
Penn State 24
Michigan State 27
Kraigen Rasalla (7-4)
I have a good feeling about the Nittany Lions this week. The James Franklin extension news finally came out this week and hopefully the roster is back to full health after over 30 players experienced flu-like symptoms during practice and the game against Rutgers last week. I think with a distraction that has surrounded the program throughout the season being a non-factor and a healthier roster, this team comes out and plays a great game against Michigan State.
The key for Penn State to go into East Lansing to beat Michigan State is simple, slow down Kenneth Walker III. The Spartan running back is the best back in the country and will make an appearance in NYC for the Heisman presentation. But, when I say slow down, I think the Lions have to use the same approach to this game as they did in the Wisconsin game. Let him get 3 or 4 yards and make him really earn them. But, don’t let Walker escape for the big play that could kill Penn State. The Lions didn’t allow that against Wisconsin and came away with a W. If Penn State can stick to that plan, I think they win the game.
With Michigan State out of Big Ten Championship and CFP contention, this game loses a bit of its luster nationally. But, I think this game is huge for Penn State heading into bowl and recruiting season. 8-4 looks a whole lot better than 7-5. And, I think Penn State gets there behind the arm of a healthy Sean Clifford against a Spartan secondary that got lit up by Ohio State and the continued dominance of this 2021 Penn State defense.
Penn State 31
Michigan State 17
Cory Lestochi (7-4)
The final regular season game of the year. Both teams have locked in their coaches for the future with both MSU’s Mel Tucker and PSU’s James Franklin signing massive contracts for the dedicated future.
Michigan State is coming off a brutal beating at the hands of Ohio State. A game that showed just how week their pass defense is. Will a healthy Sean Clifford be able to exploit it?
On the flip side can the battered Penn State defense that is still recovering from a flu have enough depth to stop Kenneth Walker, who is one of the best backs in the Big Ten?
I think Penn State comes out firing and has the defense to slow down MSU and make them one dimensional. Again, red zone defense being the difference.
Penn State 27
Michigan State 24