No. 9 Penn State visits Rutgers, looking for 7 in row
No. 9 Penn State (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten, No. 9 CFP) at Rutgers (2-8, 0-7), 8 p.m. (BTN)
Line: Penn State by 22½.
Series Record: Penn State leads 24-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Penn State needs to win its final two games and have No. 4 Michigan lose at least one of its last two in the Big Ten East to win the division and qualify for the conference title game. Rutgers can only be a spoiler at this point.
Penn State’s banged up offensive line against Rutgers defense. Penn State’s top tackles, Andrew Nelson, Brendan Mahon and Paris Palmer, are hurt. Guard Ryan Bates is moving to left tackle this week, replacing Palmer. Redshirt freshman Steven Gonzalez is expected to make first start, replacing Bates at left guard. Center Brian Gaia is the only lineman to start the season at the same position. Right guard Connor McGovern was hurt against Indiana and his status is uncertain.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Penn State: QB Trace McSorley. The redshirt sophomore has both a rushing and passing touchdown in five of the past six games. He has six games overall with a passing and rushing touchdown, second only to Lamar Jackson of Louisville.
Rutgers: DT Darius Hamilton. The senior will be playing his final home game on Senior Day. It will be his 50th career game for the last Scarlet Knight to appear in a Big East game (2012). He has 153 career tackles, 27 for loss and 11 sacks.
FACTS & FIGURES
Penn State has won six straight since losing to Michigan in the conference opener. ... Rutgers rookie coach Chris Ash is looking for first conference win. ... The Nittany Lions are the fourth team in the current Top 10 that is playing the Scarlet Knights this season. No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Michigan and No. 7 Washington have beaten them by a 184-13 margin. ... Penn State forced a season-high five turnovers last week against Indiana, all fumble recoveries. .... Rutgers last win in the series was a 21-16 decision at Beaver Stadium in 1988. The Nittany Lions were then ranked No. 15.
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