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Predicting the opponent for Michigan football: Penn State Nittany Lions…..

Michigan Football Opponent Preview: Penn State Nittany Lions

It’s a top-10 showdown between the Wolverines and the Nittany Lions. Here’s what Michigan fans need to know about Penn State

Saturday will mark Michigan’s first true road test of the season. The Wolverines travel to Happy Valley to take on No. 10 Penn State.

The Nittany Lions are sitting at 8-1 with their only loss coming to the hands of Ohio State.

Saturday will be big for the conference in general. With a Penn State win, the Nittany Lions are right in contention to win the East Division, but if Michigan — which is favored entering the game — wins, then the Nittany Lions are all but done.

While Michigan is getting dragged through the mud by the media and other Big Ten programs during its NCAA investigation, the Wolverines’ players are saying all the right things. Michigan says its focused and prepared for the Nittany Lions.

Here are some important stats and PSU players to know before the top-10 showdown on Saturday.

2023 stat comparison:

Scoring offense: Michigan (5th) 40.7 PPG — Penn State (6th) 40.2 PPG

Scoring defense: Michigan (1st) 6.7 PPG — Penn State (3rd) 11.9 PPG

Passing offense: Michigan (45th) 257.1 YPG — Penn State (75th) 220.8 YPG

Passing defense: Michigan (1st) 141.3 YPG — Penn State (12th) 173.9 YPG

Rushing offense: Michigan (51st) 167.1 YPG — Penn State (43rd) 173.2 YPG

Rushing defense: Michigan (10th) 90.1 YPG — Penn State (2nd) 60.3 YPG

Total offense: Michigan (43rd) 424.2 YPG — Penn State (61st) 394 YPG

Total defense: Michigan (1st) 231.4 YPG — Penn State (2nd) 234.2 YPG

Turnovers Lost: Michigan 6 — Penn State 4

Turnovers Gained: Michigan 15 — Penn State 20

Sacks Allowed: Michigan 11 — Penn State 12

Sacks: Michigan 22 — Penn State 38

2023 PFF comparison:

Overall grade: Michigan (1st) 97.0 — Penn State (10th) 93.1

Offense: Michigan (1st) 93.4 — Penn State (23rd) 81.4

Passing: Michigan (5th) 90.5 — Penn State (16th) 83.6

Pass block: Michigan (27th) 76.2 — Penn State (62nd) 69.1

Running: Michigan (34th) 86.1 — Penn State (21st) 88.8

Run block: Michigan (5th) 77.3 — Penn State (35th) 66.6

Defense: Michigan (1st) 95.1 — Penn State (9th) 92.9

Run defense: Michigan (5th) 92.2 — Penn State (11th) 90.7

Pass rush: Michigan (3rd) 90.1 — Penn State (4th) 88.8

Coverage: Michigan (3rd) 92.6 — Penn State (25th) 89.8

Top Penn State players to know:

QB Drew Allar: The true sophomore is in his first full year of starting for Penn State. He has thrown for 1,895 yards (62.8%), 20 touchdowns, and one interception. Allar has been good, but most PSU fans wouldn’t say he’s been the five-star he was. Allar struggled with his command against Ohio State, in Penn State’s only loss, when he completed just 42.9% of his throws. Allar has done a good job at keeping the football out of harm’s way.

RBs Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton: PSU has one of the better duos in the country and both are just sophomores — like Allar. Allen, more of the power back, leads the team with 573 yards and four scores. Singleton is right behind him at 480 yards and he leads the team with seven scores. Both players get right around 13 carries per game.

WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith: Lambert-Smith has been biding his time the past couple of seasons and now he is the unquestioned No. 1 receiver. He leads the team with 51 receptions for 645 yards and he has four touchdowns to go along with it.

LB Abdul Carter: Another fantastic sophomore for Penn State, Carter wears the famous No. 11 jersey. He is second on the team with 34 tackles. Carter also has recorded three TFLs and two sacks this season for the Penn State defense.

CB Kalen King: The junior defensive back is the Nittany Lions’ top corner and will more than likely shadow Roman Wilson on Saturday. King has 25 tackles and has broken up two passes on the season. While his stats may not jump off the page, there is a reason for it, not many teams throw his way.

Edge rushers Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac: Purdue, statistically had the best Edge rushers Michigan faced all year, but battling these two will be the toughest test yet. Robinson has missed two games due to injury, but James Franklin expects him to suit up against the Wolverines. Robinson has three sacks this season in seven games. On the other side, Isaac has seven sacks and leads Penn State.

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