The details are in place for an upcoming college football clash between Penn State and Michigan. These Big Ten foes meet the first Saturday of November in Ann Arbor and, per a Monday announcement, action will begin at 3:45 p.m. ET and be broadcast on ESPN.
Michigan is the second of three straight opponents on Penn State’s schedule that are currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The fifth-ranked Wolverines took a step forward in a pursuit of the Big Ten East title last Saturday afternoon, defeating rival Michigan State, 21-7, on the road.
Michigan dominated an emotional matchup vs. the Spartans, limiting Michigan State to 94 total offensive yards. Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke, who led a game-winning drive in the final minute at Penn State one week prior, managed only five completions on 25 pass attempts, resulting in 66 yards through the air.
“Great win. Fabulous mood in the locker room,” Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh said afterward. “The team feels great about itself and it should.”
Michigan running back Karan Higdon gained 144 yards on 33 rush attempts, while quarterback Shea Patterson passed for 212 yards and two scores. The Wolverines defense recorded four sacks and seven tackles for loss.
Michigan will have some extra time to prepare for No. 17 Penn State, as the Wolverines enter a bye week. Now 7-1 this season, Michigan’ only loss occurred in a Week One game at Notre Dame, when the Fighting Irish prevailed 24-17. Notre Dame remains unbeaten and is ranked third overall.
Penn State started its 2018 campaign with a 4-0 record but suffered consecutive losses to Ohio State and Michigan State. The Nittany Lions regained some positive momentum last Saturday with a 33-28 win at Indiana, though concerns continue to linger regarding key aspects such as passing game issues, an unsettled right offensive tackle spot and inconsistent special teams play.
Quarterback Trace McSorley accounted for 327 total yards and two rushing touchdowns in the victory, while running back Miles Sanders surpassed 100 total yards for the sixth time in seven games. Defensively, Shaka Toney (four sacks in the final seven minutes) and Yetur Gross-Matos (team-high 10 tackles, 2 sacks) led the charge.
Penn State, 5-2, would need to win its five remaining regular-season games while gaining substantial (and unlikely) outside help to have any hope for a Big Ten Championship Game appearance. Last season, The Nittany Lions won four straight contests, including a Fiesta Bowl showdown vs. Washington, after dropping back-to-back games at Michigan State and Ohio State.
Ohio State’s stunning Saturday night loss at Purdue puts Michigan in the driver’s seat to reach Indianapolis in December. The Buckeyes and Wolverines will battle in a regular-season finale but Penn State will have a chance to spoil things for Michigan ahead of that matchup when it makes the trip to Ann Arbor on Nov. 3.
The Nittany Lions are 1-3 against the Wolverines under James Franklin. Penn State halted a three-game losing streak in the series by beating Michigan, 42-13, last October in Beaver Stadium.