UM vs. Penn State preview: Night in for home team

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Penn State: Players to watch

Christian Hackenberg, QB: Hackenberg is second in the Big Ten in passing average (295.4 yards) and total offense (302.2). The co-captain has 4,432 career yards. This season, though, he has six INTs and four TDs, and is completing 58 percent of his attempts.

Mike Hull, LB: Hull leads the Big Ten in tackles with 32, and that includes a career-high 16 against Northwestern. He ranks 21st nationally with 10.6 tackles a game. Hull is a co-captain and has helped lead the Nittany Lions to a No. 2 ranking in the Big Ten in total defense (288.8).

DaeSean Hamilton, WR: He is one of two freshmen in the country to average 100.4 yards. Hamilton leads the Big Ten with 502 yards and averaging 7.2 receptions. He is second in the conference in yards.

Intangibles

Bye-week bonus? The last time Penn State was on the field, it lost 29-6 at home to Northwestern. The Nittany Lions are coming off a bye and are 15-11 after a bye in Big Ten play.

Under the lights: Michigan has won the two night games played at Michigan Stadium, both against Notre Dame. Of course that will have nothing to do with Saturday night's game, but it's worth a mention.

Run and stop: Both defenses are tough against the run, with Penn State's ranked first in the Big Ten. But which run game will have the advantage. Michigan will be without starting TB Derrick Green (broken clavicle, season) and Penn State is last in the conference averaging 101 yards.

Avoiding the three: Michigan has three losses before the end of September for the first time in program history. Two of the three straight losses have been in Ann Arbor, and this would be the first time the Wolverines have lost three straight at home since 2009.

Double dose: If Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg is accurate, that could be problematic for Michigan because of the Nittany Lions receiver duo, DaeSean Hamilton and Eugene Lewis. They're the only teammates in the country ranked in the top 20 in yards.

Facts and figures

■ Michigan's turnover margin is -13, which ranks 120th of 125 teams nationally.

■ This will be the first Big Ten night game at Michigan Stadium.

■ Michigan has allowed three rushing TDs, tied for the second-lowest total in the Big Ten.

■ Michigan has lost four straight to Penn State but leads the series 10-7.

■ Penn State is ranked among the nation's top 25 in six defensive categories. The Nittany Lions are in the top 10 in four categories.