Penn State laid it all on the field last week in Columbus, but it wasn’t enough to hold on to victory. Ohio State clawed all the way back late in the 4th quarter to stage a 39-38 win. The win keeps the Buckeyes in playoff discussion, and bumped Penn State out of the picture for the moment. There will be some debate at the end of the season if the playoff forecast looks the same as it does now.
We of course can’t have Penn State ahead of Ohio State, as they just lost to the Buckeyes. But then Oklahoma beat Ohio State in Columbus, so in my opinion, the Sooners have to be in front of Ohio State. It doesn’t matter much at the moment. A lot is going to change between now and then. It could change this weekend in Norman. Oklahoma have Oklahoma State on deck this Saturday and aren’t guaranteed anything by a long shot.
The Nittany Lions have to keep playing football and hope they get some help along the way. One loss on the resume by a point on the road in Columbus is not going to be looked at too badly by voters. The loss nevertheless bumped them down to 7th, with Ohio State and Oklahoma ahead, so another loss for both and they’d be back in the top-4.
Standing in their way this week is another B1G foe, the Michigan State Spartans. The Spartans are 6-2 with their biggest win coming against rival Michigan. It was an upset win for Michigan State, who defeated the Wolverines by a score of 14-10. They haven’t gotten much offense this year, and didn’t need it against Michigan.
Michigan State needed the offense last week, but didn’t get enough against Northwestern. Quarterback Brian Lewerke put together a career afternoon, passing for 445 yards in a losing effort. The Spartans were downed in overtime, 39-31, and had a letdown performance on defense. Do you think they were looking ahead to Penn State? I’d say so. We’ll see if they can shake it off and come back with a win at Spartan Stadium. Head below for our free Penn State vs. Michigan State pick.
Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan State Spartans Betting Odds:
Penn State -9(-110)
vs. Michigan State +9(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Penn State vs. Michigan State Pick:
The Penn State defense was absolutely gassed last week against Ohio State. By the time there was 10 minutes left on the clock, they had nothing left to give. Running after J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes took its toll on the defense. It was the first time of the year that we witnessed the Penn State defense getting pushed around. For the majority of the contest, they held in there, but they were sucking wind trying to contain the Buckeye offense. Penn State aren’t going to get anything close to what they faced against Ohio State this week.
The Nittany Lions are going to appreciate a more methodical approach by Michigan State in Week 10. Michigan employs a similar attack and they weren’t able to do anything. The Spartans are 71st on offense, averaging 394 yards and allowing 23.8 points per game. The game plan is going to be simple for Michigan State. If they want to hang around in this game, they have to lean on their physical defense. Michigan State are 8th in the nation with 283 yards allowed per game. They are particularly stout at defending the run, allowing just 89.8 yards per game, 4th in the FBS. With rain in the forecast on Saturday, this is important to note.
Conversely, Penn are State are giving up just 314 yards and 13.3 points per game for 19th in the country. Despite Ohio State moving the ball on them, they still statistically rank as one of the best defenses in college football. Heisman hopeful Saquon Barkley is going to get plenty of looks in this one. Especially with what is forecasted to be crummy weather in East Lansing, you’re going to see a healthy dose of Barkley here.
The Spartans greatest strength is their run defense, so they’re going to open for the challenge. I can’t see Lewerke and Spartans having another big afternoon. After Ohio State scored 39 on them last week, I expect a considerably better effort against a bad defense. This is going to be old school, smash mouth football in the rain. Points should come a premium in a low-scoring contest that stays UNDER the total.
PICK: UNDER 48 (-110)