Saturday night, No. 16 Michigan football (5-1, 3-1 Big Ten) has an opportunity for a statement win on the road at No. 7 Penn State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten). The Wolverines will have their hands full as the Nittany Lions are undefeated with a raucous environment as this is their annual “whiteout” game.
Penn State is 2-1 in whiteout games against U-M; most recently blowing them out, 42-13, in 2017. Ya know, the one where Saquon Barkley had two touchdowns in the first five minutes?
Here’s what to watch and how to watch Michigan vs. Penn State.
With Trace McSorley off to the NFL, the reigns have been handed to Sean Clifford. Clifford was a top 200 recruit in 2017 out of Cincinnati St. Xavier.
In his first year as the starter, Clifford has been up-and-down but mostly up. He has a 64-percent completion percentage with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions. His worst game-to-date from a production standpoint was his last, as Iowa held him to a 50-percent completion percentage and under 120 yards.
Keep an Eye on KJ
Michigan fans will remember KJ Hamler for multiple reasons. Whether it’s because he went to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (finished at IMG Academy), wasn’t recruited by U-M, or his lightning quickness on the football field, he is well-known in the area.
Now, Hamler is one of the most elusive players in all of college football.
The junior wideout averages over 75 yards per game this year on top of five touchdowns in six games. Hamler also returns punts for the Nittany Lions.
Jahan Dotson and Pat Freiermuth are the other Penn State wideouts with over two catches a game.
Nittany Lions on the Ground
Clifford came out of high school as a pro-style quarterback but has run quite often for the Nittany Lions this year. He is their top total rusher (excluding sacks) as well. Clifford averages 42 yards-per-game on the ground. Expect whomever is tasked with spying Clifford to have his hands full tracking the Penn State QB Saturday.
The top running back for the Nittany Lions is Noah Cain. Cain averages 51.67 yards-per-game and has six touchdowns the year.
Parsons and his People
On defense, the Nittany Lions are led by former top-five recruit linebacker Micah Parsons. The Wolverines took a shot at Parsons as a recruit but the blue chip ultimately chose Penn State.
Parsons has 31 tackles on the season to lead the Nittany Lions, as well as six tackles-for-loss.
Penn State has a pair of defensive ends with 5.5 sacks a piece in Yetur Gross-Matos and Shaka Toney.
In the secondary, look for John Reid (two interceptions) and Tariq Castro-Fields (five pass break-ups) to be active on the Wolverine receivers.
Michigan-Penn State Football TV Channel, Time and Live Stream
Kickoff Time: 7:30 PM ET
Date: Saturday, October 19
Location: Beaver Stadium (University Park, Penn.)
TV Channel: ABC
Live Stream: ABCGo
Michigan-Penn State Odds
Spread: +9 (Michigan)
Pick: Penn State -9
Moneyline: Penn State (-330) | Michigan (+275)