No. 5 Michigan, No. 10 Penn St meet with Big Ten, CFP stakes
No. 10 Penn State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) at No. 5 Michigan (6-0, 2-0), Saturday, noon ET (Fox)
Line: Michigan by 6 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Michigan leads 15-10.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The highly anticipated game potentially has Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff ramifications. The winner will control its fate, having the chance to win out to claim the conference championship and earn a spot in the playfoff. The loser will need some help to reach its goals.
Michigan RB Blake Corum vs. Penn State’s run defense. Corum has run for 500 yards, for nearly 6 yards per carry, and four TDs over three Big Ten games. He ranks third in FBS with 735 yards rushing, including a 19-plus yard run in every game, and second with 11 scores. Penn State is giving up just 79.6 yards rushing per game, ranking fifth in the country.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Penn State: CB Joey Porter Jr. The son of Pittsburgh Steelers great Joey Porter was named the Big Ten’s top defensive player at midseason by The Associated Press. Porter ranks second nationally with 10 pass breakups, an impressive total because teams don’t throw his way often.
Michigan: QB J.J. McCarthy. The sophomore is starting against a ranked team for the first time. McCarthy has completed 78% of his passes, ranking No. 1 among FBS quarterbacks. Penn State has allowed opponents to complete just 49.6% of their passes to lead the nation.
FACTS & FIGURES
Michigan and Penn State are meeting as top-10 teams for the first time since 1997 and third time in the series. ... Penn State RBs Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton are averaging a combined 153.2 rushing yards per game. … Singleton, who leads the nation with five runs of at least 40 yards, was named the Big Ten’s best first-year freshman in The Associated Press’ Big Ten midseason awards. ... The Nittany Lions held Northwestern to 31 rushing yards on 28 carries. … Penn State has 11 takeaways over the last three games and leads the Big Ten with a plus-6 turnover margin. ... The Wolverines are aiming for consecutive 7-0 starts for the first time since they won their first 10 games in the 1973 and 1974 seasons. ... McCarthy threw for a career-high 304 yards last week at Indiana. ... Michigan has 14 sacks and 21 tackles for losses over their last three games along with a total of 18 total QB hurries. ... The Wolverines and top-ranked Alabama are the two FBS teams that rank among the top 10 in scoring offense and defense.
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