Penn State Vs. Michigan: Players To Watch

October 20, 2017

Michigan DE Rashan Gary

Entering his first full season as a starter on a rebuilt but still very explosive Michigan defense, Gary has established himself as one of the top defensive ends in the nation in just half a season. The sophomore, who was the top recruit in the nation in 2016, leads a defensive front that has practically lived in opposing backfields this season. The Wolverines have registered 47 tackles for loss and 20 sacks as a team, both in the top 20 in the nation. Facing consistent double teams on passing downs, Gary has five TFLs and two sacks, but his five quarterback hurries lead the team. Penn State has to figure out a way to keep him away from QB Trace McSorley.

Penn State CB Grant Haley

Arguably Penn State’s best defensive player in the first half, Haley has been solid against the run, which should be a big factor against Michigan. But, he has two interceptions and a fumble recovery, which is an even bigger factor against a Michigan team that has shown the propensity for turning the ball over. Teams have stayed close against the Wolverines, even considering how dominant their defense has been, by making them one-dimensional on offense. Haley and the dominant Penn State secondary have the ability to do that. An interception or two would go a long way toward making Wolverines QB John O’Korn little more than a game manager.