October 17, 2019

You thought last week was important?

Penn State could embarrass Michigan
under the lights... again.
Ok, it really was important. The win at Iowa, the first for a Franklin-coached Penn State team over a ranked opponent on the road, was a big hurdle for the program and its prospects the rest of the season. But if this season were a 110-meter hurdle race, there's still about 70 meters to go, and the rest of the hurdles just get bigger and bigger.

For the second week in a row, I came close on the score prediction. I expected Penn State to put more points on the board. Should have known better.

Moving on to this Saturday night. I won't be there. The pain is real, but I've had to miss big games in the past. Nothing will compare to missing the 2016 Ohio State game. I debated going right up until it was too late to go. Never forgive myself for that one.

All signs point to Penn State over Michigan... big. The trip to Kinnick prepared this very young Penn State team for a dogfight, for which I think they're ready. Michigan looks fragile. The Wolverines got past Iowa, in the Big House, by scoring 10 in the first quarter and riding it out. That will definitely not fly in Beaver Stadium.

As Michigan has struggled all season to find its identity and rhythm, Penn State is now approaching cruising speed. The Nittany Lions were able to overcome a very slow start last week, so anything short of that this week bodes well for the home team. Sean Clifford won't have the same anxiety that showed at Iowa. With Noah Cain emerging as a ball-control beast, the formula seems right for a dominant win. Minimize the turnovers and penalties, and this one could get out of hand quickly.

I just can't imagine Penn State losing this game, at home, in front of a White Out crowd, with GameDay in town, and millions more on TV. The pick: Penn State 45, Michigan 17.


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