October 29, 2010

LBU Staff Predictions: Michigan at Penn State (updated)

In just about 24 hours, Penn State and Michigan will have at it under the lights. The end product is anyone's guess. So, naturally, we present guesses galore!

Evan Royster is just 31 yards from the record, and
Michigan's defense could be just what he needs to sail past the mark.
(Photo: AnnArbor.com)

The key for Penn State is getting out to a fast start, it’s a night game and a white out so they should come out pumped. Unfortunately, we all know what we’re going to see on defense: the horrendous cover 2 that will allow Robinson to eat away big chunks of yardage both on the ground running and through the air. Really he’ll have his pick. There’s no way Penn State will play man to man and take the chance that Robinson will run a draw when several DB’s have their backs turned to him. So just go into the game knowing we’re gonna see plenty of offense from Michigan.

With McGloin starting it really adds a different feel to Penn State’s offense. Even if the coaches call short pass plays look for Matt to look down field at every opportunity he gets because he likes to sling the ball. That could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing, the key is he can’t get so pumped that he starts trying to force the ball like he did last week. Sadly we all know how this game will start, Penn State will come out and mash the ball at the center of the line 2x and then try to throw on third and long.

This game will come down to turnovers, if there are none Penn State loses. It’s always important for your defense to force turnovers but against Michigan it’s crucial. If Penn State wants to win this game they will have to win the turnover battle, but I don’t see it happening.

Penn State 21 - Michigan 27


Oh my, will this be a fun game to watch in person. Penn State has been waiting for a defense like this for a long time, as Michigan's beleagered unit is giving up 441 yards per game--296 passing per game! If there is one cure for a stagnating offense, it's the Wolverines' D. Even with Matt McGloin getting the start (supposedly, we'll see if it holds), Penn State should be able to pick apart the Michigan secondary, while giving Evan Royster and the explosive Silas Redd carries to keep the offense moving nicely all night.

But that all comes down to how aggressive Jay Paterno and Galen Hall are willing to go. We saw a glimpse of what could be in store, with McGloin slinging the ball from the first play against Minnesota. For Penn State's defense, the key will be forcing turnovers, which I fully expect Michigan to help with. Denard Robinson could end up with 300-plus yards of total offense, but as we saw against Iowa and Michigan State, the rest of the team can be a gigantic liability. This one comes down to special teams (huge Penn State advantage) and turnovers at the right times. In a thriller...

Penn State 38 - Michigan 37 in Overtime


With the news that McGloin is starting, this night game takes on an entirely different dimension. As we all know, the Ginger's mortal enemy is the sun and with his nemesis removed from the equation expect McGloin to go bombs away. Does the Michigan defense have a Chili Con Carnival prepared him? I don't believe so, but Penn State will have their hands full as well with Denard Robinson. Alex Kenney was among those playing him for the scout team, so the speed shouldn't be totally surprising, then again practice ain't like the games.

Honestly, should Robinson get knocked out again, I think Tate Forcier presents the more dangerous option as quarterback against our defense. Either way, I'm prepared for a shootout-type game and I'm taking the Irishman and a side of Newsome (whom should read up on a few motivational quotes floating out there about how Michigan never really wanted him anyway, because he's apparently terrible).

Penn State 37 - Michigan 35


I will have the same mentality watching this game as I do when I watch the Fighting DeChellises every basketball season: I'm not expecting a win necessarily, but I feel it will be fun to see how Ginger Brett Favre (i.e. Matt McGloin) fares in his starting debut. Last week alone, McGloin created his share of WTF type of plays while simultaneously delivering a set of OMFG types. If he can create more of the latter, less of the former, I don't see why PSU doesn't light up Michigan's god-awful defense the way they did Minnesota's.

The caveat of course, is that PSU's defense is only slightly less god-awful due to inexperience and an injury plague unlike any we have seen before. Denard Robinson is going to get his share of yards, particularly on the ground, there is no way he will be shut down. However, it is possible to do what Michigan State and Iowa were able to do and contain Robinson to the point where he's not able to rip off 70-yard TD runs or do that fancy "run three steps to the side before dropping back to throw a quick pass to a wide-open Roy Roundtree" move that he kept killing Notre Dame with. Furthermore, MSU and Iowa were able to force Michigan into committing a few costly turnovers that ended promising drives where the Wolverines were seemingly headed for the end zone.

I'd like to sit here and say that our defense is good enough to force the necessary turnovers and minimize the big plays by Robinson. Unless the tackling has improved, the linebackers have gotten a step quicker, and the D-line has gotten better at penetration (*snicker*), I have a difficult time seeing them do so. I think it will be a wild shootout that will entertain the masses, but in the end, Michigan just has a few more big plays than PSU which will make all the difference in this one.

Michigan 35 - Penn State 31

Follow LBU on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to Linebacker-U.com by Email


  1. I don't know... I'm willing to give the coach's the benefit of the doubt and with the atmosphere tonight I think we can pull it out.

  2. Jonathan Coker10/30/2010 7:00 PM

    31 to 20 Penn State