Detroit News predictions: Michigan vs. Penn State
Angelique S. Chengelis, Matt Charboneau, Bob Wojnowski and John Niyo of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Saturday's Michigan-Penn State game.
Angelique S. Chengelis: This game will hinge on how well Michigan's offensive line can protect against a tough Penn State defensive line. No one is expecting the Wolverines to suddenly discover a running game, but they're going to have to hope for some balance and keep QB Jake Rudock off the ground against a defense that leads the nation in sacks. Michigan 21-17
Matt Charboneau: Michigan's last two road games have gone down to the wire and it could be in store for something similar against Penn State. The Nittany Lions offense has been sporadic this season and has had trouble protecting QB Christian Hackenberg, but the defense has been solid, especially against the pass. If Jake Rudock plays as well as he has the last two weeks, the Wolverines should get another well-earned road win heading into the finale against the Buckeyes. Michigan 31-20
Bob Wojnowski: The defense is getting dinged regularly now, so the Wolverines need more and more from Jake Rudock, and he's delivering more and more to Jehu Chesson. Any road game is treacherous, but Michigan caught a break with a noon start instead of a night contest. Penn State succeeds with defense, not necessarily with touted QB Christian Hackenberg, who has been sacked 32 times. If Michigan still has a pass rush, time to show it. Michigan 20-17
John Niyo: Penn State's pass rush is no joke. But Michigan's O-line has done a terrific job of protecting Jake Rudock. And now that he's finally looking downfield, there are enough big plays through the air to cover for that mediocre run game. And to survive a low-scoring road test in Happy Valley. Michigan 21-17