Detroit News predictions: Michigan vs. Penn State
Angelique S. Chengelis, Matt Charboneau, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Saturday's Michigan vs. Penn State game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor (3:45 p.m., ESPN/950).
Angelique S. Chengelis: Michigan beat Penn State 49-10 two years ago at Michigan Stadium and the Nittany Lions responded with a 42-13 victory on their home field last year. What will it be this time? Maybe more of the same. If you haven’t heard (of course you have, but still …) the Wolverines’ defensive players and coordinator Don Brown are still smarting from that beatdown last year and the fact the Nittany Lions tried to score at the end of the game. This hasn’t set well with them and Michigan’s 2018 defense is even better than last year’s. Meanwhile, Michigan’s offensive line is feeling confident after gaining 183 yards against Michigan State’s run defense, and it will have to do it again against Penn State’s tough defensive line. Michigan, 35-20
Matt Charboneau: The Nittany Lions piled up some impressive offensive numbers early in the season, but once they hit the meat of the Big Ten schedule, things haven’t come so easily. That gets even tougher this week against a Michigan defense that is arguably the best in the nation. The momentum is rolling in Ann Arbor and Penn State won’t be the team to slow it down. Michigan 31-17
John Niyo: Michigan's defense has a score to settle, obviously. But Michigan's offense should be able to score some points, as well. Penn State's back seven will give up some big plays, and expect Shea Patterson to win this game with his arm – and mismatches with the Wolverines' big receivers and tight ends – more so than his legs. Michigan, 31-17
Bob Wojnowski: Penn State has stumbled of late, and QB Trace McSorley is banged up. But the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in sacks, which means Shea Patterson will have to be quick to unload the ball or evade the rush. The Wolverines should be able to grind it out with Karan Higdon, and their defense shows no signs of letting up. After last year’s blowout loss at Penn State, and with Big Ten title possibilities growing, Michigan should have all the emotional edges. Michigan, 31-14