NCAAF Game Preview - Penn State at Michigan State
Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:30 PM EDT

Ark
7
Ala
48
F
Aub
20
LSU
23
F
Wisc
7
OHSt
38
F
BC
7
Clem
59
F
Okla
41
K St
48
F
PSU
28
MSU
7
F
ND
14
Mich
45
F
WaSt
35
Oreg
37
F
Cal
0
Utah
35
F
Tex
27
TCU
37
F
SMU
34
Hou
31
F
MD
10
Minn
52
F
Iowa
20
NW
0
F
App
30
SoAl
3
F
OkSt
34
IASt
27
F
AzSt
32
UCLA
42
F
USC
35
Colo
31
F
BGSU
10
WestMI
49
F
MisSt
30
TxAM
49
F
Lib
34
Rut
44
F
Ill
24
Purd
6
F
MiaFL
16
Pitt
12
F
SJSU
34
Army
29
F
SMiss
20
Rice
6
F
Ohio
34
Ball
21
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Nev
3
Wyo
31
F
W Ky
23
Marsh
26
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NMSt
7
GaSo
41
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Akr
0
NIU
49
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E Mi
34
Toled
37
F OT
MiaOH
23
Kent
16
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C Mi
20
Buff
43
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Tul
38
Navy
41
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Ariz
31
Stan
41
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Ind
38
Neb
31
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FLInt
17
MidTN
50
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FlAtl
41
OD
3
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UConn
56
UMass
35
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UVA
21
Lou
28
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Syr
17
FlaSt
35
F
NorTx
38
Char
39
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SoFL
45
ECU
20
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Hawaii
45
NM
31
F
SCar
21
Tenn
41
F
Duke
17
UNC
20
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TxSt
14
ArkSt
38
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Troy
33
GASt
52
F
Mem
42
Tuls
41
F
UCF
63
Temp
21
F
TxTch
34
Kans
37
F
ColSt
41
Fres
31
F
Mizzu
7
KY
29
F
LaTec
42
UTEP
21
F
UtSt
7
AF
31
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SDSU
20
UNLV
17
F
No. 6 Penn St. looks to avoid upset at Michigan St.
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:49 PM

James Franklin knew his Penn State team didn't play a complete game last week in beating Michigan. However, the Nittany Lions held on to remain unbeaten and tied with Ohio State atop the Big Ten East Division.

So, as No. 6 Penn State heads to Michigan State this week, the focus will be to play a full four quarters, primarily on offense as the Nittany Lions managed just seven points over the final three quarters in the 28-21 victory over the Wolverines.

"I think consistency is about everything," Franklin said. "It's about our run game. It's about our protection. It's about hitting the throws that we should hit consistently. It's all of it. It's third down and we missed some opportunities. It's explosive plays. But we played a defense this past week; that's who they are. If you look over the last ... I don't know how many years, that's who they are. It's big plays against them, and if you're able to hit your big plays, you're going to have success."

The Nittany Lions (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) had their share of big plays, highlighted by a 53-yard strike from sophomore quarterback Sean Clifford to sophomore wide receiver KJ Hamler in the fourth quarter for the winning score.

To avoid an upset this week against Michigan State, the big play will once again be critical.

The Spartans (4-3, 2-2), usually one of the most-consistent defenses in the nation, have been burned by the big play in each of their last two games. They were torched by a handful of big plays in a loss to Ohio State before getting run over by Wisconsin a week later.

After a bye week, Michigan State now faces its third straight top-10 team and is counting on the break to get things turned around.

"Young people have always been resilient and believe very strongly in themselves," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said. "Certainly there's disappointment, but people get up off the ground quick around here, and that's what you have to do. If you're going to succeed in the next step, then you'd better get your mind right and get back up. That's been the message from day one around here since we've walked in, and I think that's the message in every program across the country."

While it has been a few years since Michigan State was in the Big Ten title hunt, it has had Penn State's number, winning each of the last two meetings and five of the last six.

Both of the last two games have come down to the final minute, with Michigan State winning on a field goal from Matt Coghlin as time expired in 2017 and getting a touchdown pass from Brian Lewerke to Felton Davis with seconds to play last season.

For Penn State senior cornerback John Reid, there's extra incentive to flip the result this time around and keep pace in the chase for the division title.

"It's something we've seen," Reid said. "We rewatch all the games and know we're the ones on the field, and we just know that we need to finish it out. That's kind of our mentality, being humble and hungry, and then finishing out the game. That's kind of the plan every week. That's kind of how we want it."

--Field Level Media

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