Allen Robinson (Orchard Lake St. Mary's) is Penn State's top wide receiver. (Eric Francis / Getty Images)
Keys to the game
■ Negate the noise: Much has been made about how loud Beaver Stadium can be, particularly during a late afternoon/night game and a whiteout. The best way for the Wolverines to overcome the noise? Get out to a fast start and get the Nittany Lions on their heels and take the fans out of the game.
■ Play error free: The Wolverines know good things happen when they donít turn the ball over. Michigan saw that last weekend in a 42-13 victory over Minnesota (no turnovers; 12 the first four games).
■ Stop the quarterback: Making Penn State one-dimensional is critical. The Nittany Lions are third in the Big Ten in passing offense, with freshman Christian Hackenberg ranked second (273.4 yards). While Michiganís pass rush didnít get a huge test against Minnesotaís running quarterback, this will be a chance for Greg Mattisonís line to make its presence felt.
■ One-two punch: Michigan wants to rely less on QB Devin Gardnerís legs and allow him to run the offense stress-free. That means TBs Fitz Toussaint and freshman Derrick Green must take the next step from their solid combined performance last week. Toussaint will be key in this intimidating stadium because of his experience, but Green, 245 pounds and tough to haul down, must prove he can be counted on in a hostile road setting.
■ Defensive defense: Michiganís third-down defense isnít exactly where it wants to be ó 41 percent conversion rate. The Wolverines, however, have not allowed a rushing TD in six straight games, dating to the Outback Bowl. Michigan is ninth nationally in rushing defense (90.4 yards).
Know the foe
■ Michigan native: Penn State WR Allen Robinson is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior from Orchard Lake St. Maryís. He is coming off a career game (12 catches, 173 yards, two TDs) in a loss last weekend at Indiana. Robinson has 621 yards and five TDs this season and is seventh nationally in receiving yards (124.2). Heís a big target with great hands.
■ Playing older: Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison doesnít want his players to get caught up thinking Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg is a freshman, even though he is. Mattison said he plays like a veteran and has earned their respect. Hackenberg is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes, averages 273.4 yards and has eight TDs and four INTs.
■ Get used to the stadium: Michigan hasnít played at Penn State since 2010, which means there arenít many on this team who have experienced Beaver Stadiumís loud environment. As senior captain Taylor Lewan pointed out, this crowd will be more than twice the size of the crowd at UConn three weeks ago.
■ Will he or wonít he?: LB Jake Ryan has been medically cleared to play since tearing the ACL in his right knee during spring practice. If and when Ryan returns, he will make an enormous difference not only with his presence on the field ó he was the leading tackler last season ó but emotionally as a junior captain.