Big Ten Rivals #10 Penn State and Michigan square off

Ryan MooreCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2007

IconThe #10 Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0) travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take on long-time Big Ten rival, the Michigan Wolverines this Saturday (9/22) at 3:30 PM EST.

Penn State is coming off of a 45-24 win over Buffalo last weekend. Anthony Morelli and the Nittany Lions offense will try to be equally dominant this Saturday.

If Senior QB Anthony Morelli can throw for 202 yards for 4 TDs on 20 of 27 passes, as he did against the Bison, then the Lions will put up close to 30 points on the Michigan defense. 

Even though the Wolverine defense gave up 73 points in their first two games, they shut out Notre Dame last Saturday. UM will probably call a lot of blitzes throughout the game, so look for RB's Austin Scott and Rodney Kinlaw to get more carries than usual, if Michigan shuts down the pass.

So far this season, the junior Kinlaw has been running the ball much better than senior Scott, so Rodney should get the majority of the carries. The Lions rushing attack will be key this Saturday because Michigan will be looking to shut down the pass, knowing that the aerial attack has been Penn State's best weapon/

Michigan is coming off a 38-0 win over Notre Dame last Saturday. Even though Notre Dame has the worst offense in the country and has yet to score a touchdown, UM sure has a lot more confidence going into this Saturday than they did after their first two embarassing loses. It is still unkown if Michigan senior QB Chad Henne will return from his injury, or if freshman Ryan Mallett will make his second start. Mallett played well against the Irish, so he will be ready to do the same this Saturday if Henne can't go.

This is going to be a classic Penn State-Michigan game, like always. Penn State has been playing much better football than Michigan so far, but that does not mean anything until the Nittany Lions finally beat the Wolverines. In the last 8 meetings between these two storied programs, Penn State is 0-8. Back in 2005 (last time Penn State was at the Big House), the Lions lost on the last play of the game, a loss that proved to be their only defeat all season. The way the both teams have been playing, Penn State should win, but it will be a close game that could go either way.

My prediction:


Michigan: 20


I see my Nittany Lions finally getting over the hump by ending Michigan's eight-game win streak against them by winning another classic game. The Penn State defense will make some key stops to prevent the UM offense from taking the lead. It will be closer than the score I predicted because the Lions will score a late TD to put it away at 31-20.

If the Nittany Lions win, they will be 4-0 and a true national title contender.