Thursday, October 13, 2005

Week Seven: #8 Penn State (6-0, 3-0) at Michigan (3-3, 1-2)

Last week's win against Ohio State was incredible. It was easily Penn State's biggest victory in the past decade. However, I want a Penn State victory over Michigan more than anything. I'm tired of hearing about the six game losing streak, how Michigan pillages Western Pennsylvania talent and how Michigan football is superior in every way to every other school. Well I have news for you, Michigan fans. The Wolverines ARE NOT a good football team this season. The offense is sporadic, the defensive secondary is in shambles and the defensive unit as a whole is overrated. Michigan lost to Minnesota and possession of the Little Brown Jug for the first time since I was before I was born. The only team that Michigan was flat out dominated this season was Eastern Michigan. Let us not forget that the Minnesota team that Michigan lost to had been throttled by Penn State 44-14 the previous week. All of this makes you wonder why Michigan is a 3 point favorite. While I wish Las Vegas would give PSU a little more respect, this is exactly where Penn State wants to be- underdogs with a chance to thrash yet another big time opponent. Penn State has now been an underdog for the past three weeks to Minnesota, Ohio State and now Michigan. So far, Penn State is obviously 2-0 in those games.

Penn State couldn't draw Michigan at a better time. The Wolverines' secondary is banged up and they are coming off a heartbreaking last second loss to Minnesota. Some would say this will make them hungrier for victory but I'm going to play devil's advocate and say that it negatively impacts them. With three losses already, the fans are throwing in the towel (many fans are selling off their tickets) and Michigan will have to win out just to have a prayer at a New Year's Day bowl game. While Penn State's offense didn't dominate Ohio State last week, the Lions did enough to win. It was raining the majority of the game and it was clear that Jim Tressel wasn't going to go out of his way to challenge Penn State's defense. The key stat to take away from the Ohio State game is zero, as in zero turnovers. Penn State has now gone two games without any turnovers since Michael Robinson's four turnover performance in the first half against Northwestern. Robinson has been making smarter decisions with the football when it comes to both running and passing. He had been rather careless with the football through the first four games. If the Penn State offense once again plays turnover-free football, the offense should produce like the well-oiled mahcine it has evolved into from last season's two runs and a cloud of dust offense. Tony Hunt will need to continue running the ball well. When Hunt runs the ball well, it opens up the pass game and against a week Michigan secondary, that could result in some of the long plays that we saw earlier in the season.

Penn State's defense has been playing lights out for the past two games. Ever since Northwestern hung 23 points on Penn State's offense in the first half of that game, the Nittany Lions have surrendered only 30 points in two and a half games. Paul Posluszny has been playing like an All-American all season long and he earned his third consecutive Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award (it was shared this past week) for his performance against Ohio State. Posluszny's play made supposed superior Ohio State linebackers Bobby Carpenter and A.J. Hawk look run of the mill. There is not a linebacker in the nation that I would trade Poz for right now. He has been playing balls to wall all season long and is well deserving of the comparisons to such great Penn State linebackers as Shane Conlan and Greg Buttle. The play of Poz, Dan Connor, Tim Shaw and Tyrell Sales have gone a long way to re-establishing Penn State as "Linebacker U." Michigan is going to have to pass the ball to win this game. Mike Hart may pull off a couple of nice runs but the Penn State front seven is far too good for him to run all over them, just ask Laurence Maroney. I like Penn State's secondary against Michigan's wide receivers. Don't get me wrong, Michigan's offense will score points but Penn State is clearly a better defense than anyone else that Michigan has seen thus far. As a matter of fact, it ain't even close.

This game is going to come down to one thing- Penn State is the better team with the better defense. I see a well played football game that sees Penn State pull away at the end with Tony Hunt hammering away at the Michigan defense in the second half.

Penn State's Keys to Victory:
  • No turnovers
  • Tough run defense
  • Contain Hart and Avant
  • Pressure Chad Henne
  • Control the clock

My Prediction- Penn State 28, Michigan 17


Blogger Hugh said...

An e-mail to a buddy of mine on monday -

"Michigan has no defense and an offense that won't stand up to our stingy stingy d. We won't score at will, because we'll be in the big house, but we will score at least 21, and sorry, mich won't.

Weather permitting, penn state wins it 28-13."

Well said Nittany Blogger - well said.

Friday, October 14, 2005  
Anonymous WOLVERINE said...

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na

So nice to get all of that riff raff out of our bars. Have a safe trip home. . .wherever that is. The GOOD Pennsylvania college is in Philly, right?

Saturday, October 15, 2005  
Blogger PokerGuy12 said...

Go Ohio State! All those michigan players talk game but they cant hang. I wanted to bet my friend from highschool who goes to Michigan that they won't win. Then he told me we could go to Pokerblue and play their Freeroll Texas Hold'em poker Tournament for Ohio State and Michigan students. We can get free tickets and lots of tailgate money. I'm all over this. Here is a great site for tournament info.

Sunday, October 30, 2005  

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