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CFB Week 11 Preview – Michigan @ Penn State

CFB Week 11 Preview – Michigan @ Penn State 17:00 UK Time (12:00 EST). With just 3 weeks to go now until the end of the College Football Regular Season, most teams are really fighting for their chance of a bowl game while some are trying to push their way into Playoff contention. My 2 other favorite match-ups this week are important ones for overall conference standings. These are Oklahoma @ Baylor and Minnesota @ Iowa.

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Summary

This is an immensely important game for both programs. With a win against Maryland last week, Penn State have worked their way to just outside the Top-25. With 3 straight wins they could find themselves in NY6 Bowl Game conversation.

Michigan sits at 6th in the latest Official CFB Rankings. Michigan’s path is clear and simple, if Ohio State beats Michigan State then the Wolverines have to win out to secure the Big Ten East. This path creates a scintillating game on November 27th. With Ohio State and Michigan dogging it out for the Big Ten East Crown at The Big House!

Wolverines

Where to start on this Michigan team… Its certainly one of the most well rounded teams in College Football. I think ill start with their outstanding defense. Statistically they are the 6th best defense in the Nation in terms of yards allowed per game, with an average of 298 and points allowed per game, with an average of just 16. Out those 298 yards per game, they only give up 173 to the passing game, for which they are ranked the 8th best and they only give up 125 to the rush. It is impossible to talk about this Michigan defense without mentioning the tantalizing duo of Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo. The combination of Hutchinson’s and Ojabos 15 sacks and 5 forced fumbles (technically 6 if you count the one ruled out by the dodgy Big Ten refs against Michigan State) paired with the fact Penn State has a below-average O-Line, allowing 20 sacks on the season, is sure to give Sean Clifford nightmares.

Although not as strong as their defense, Michigan has a pretty good offence as well. The Wolverines are statistically the 17th best team in the Nation in terms of points scored per game, with an average of 36.2. The Michigan Offence manages an average of 451 yards per game, owing 217 of those yards to the passing game and 234 to their running game (for which they are ranked as the 7th best). To talk about the Wolverine Offence you first must mention the double-headed running threat of Haskins and Corrum. The Wolverine running-backs have combined for 1,786 total yards and 22 touchdowns on the season!

Nittany Lions

For the Penn State Offence to be able to compete with this Michigan defense, it is paramount that QB, Sean Clifford is back to 100%. As the main focal point of this Penn State Offence is their passing game. Clifford, who got injured in the game against Iowa, has looked a bit off since returning to the squad. The Nittany Lion Offence is managing an average of 384 yards per game, 278 of which are passing yards and 106 rushing. They are also averaging 26.8 points per game.. A huge factor in this game will be how the Offensive Line can hold up against the might of Hutchinson and Ojabo. The Penn State O-Line has been sub-par this season, with a PFF grade of 65. They have already gave up 20 sacks in the season so far.

The defense is probably the strongest unit of this whole Penn State team. They are great at holding opposing teams to low points. They’re the 10th best ranked team in the Nation for points allowed per game, with an average of just 16.7. The defense averages 350 yards per game allowed, with 213 of those yards coming from the passing game and 137 coming from the rush. A star player on this Nittany Lion defense is Edge Rusher, Arnold Ebikatie. Ebikatie has been one of my favorite players to watch this year and i have touched on him many times in my articles. Ebikatie has 37 pressures so far resulting 6.5 sacks and 21 QB forced hurries. He has achieved a PFF grade of 87.2, the highest out of any Penn State player.

Undrafted’s Michigan Talent Watch – Hutchinson/Ojabo DE

It was always going to be one of the Michigan Duos. Either Hutchinson/Ojabo or Corum/Haskins. In the end I went with the duo I think will have a bigger impact in the game. As mentioned, the edge rushing duo have been outstanding this year. With 15 sacks and 5 forced fumbles on the season. Combine that with the fact that the Penn State O-Line has already allowed 20 sacks this season and i cant see how this duo doesn’t improve their stats on Saturday

Undrafted’s Penn State Talent Watch – Jahan Dotson WR

Dotson is just of the back of a breakout game last week against Maryland. Where he had 242 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. The Penn State wide receiver has had a fantastic season. He has cemented himself as a 1st round pick for many. Dotson has 932 receiving yards on the season and 9 touchdowns. With a PFF grade of 85.6.

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