No. 7 Penn State, No. 24 Michigan St both trying to rebound
No. 7 Penn State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten, CFP No. 7) at No. 24 Michigan State (6-2, 4-1, CFP No. 24), Saturday, noon ET (Fox)
Line: Penn State by 8 ½.
Series record: Tied 15-15-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Both teams are coming off gut-wrenching losses — Penn State let a fourth-quarter lead slip away at Ohio State, and Michigan State fell in triple overtime at Northwestern. The Nittany Lions still harbor playoff hopes, and this is probably their toughest remaining game in the regular season.
Penn State RB Saquon Barkley against Michigan State’s defensive front. No big surprise here: The Spartans have built themselves into a tough Big Ten opponent again on the strength of their defense, but Barkley has scored a touchdown in 15 straight games, and Michigan State isn’t in great shape to rally from any kind of significant early deficit.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Penn State: QB Trace McSorley. The senior has thrown a touchdown pass in 23 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the FBS behind Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma (32).
Michigan State: WR Cody White. He had 165 yards receiving against Northwestern, a school freshman record.
FACTS & FIGURES
Michigan State has lost 10 fumbles this season, tied for the most in the conference. Penn State is plus-14 in turnover margin, by far the best mark in the Big Ten. ... McSorley has 47 career touchdown passes, one shy of the school record. ... Barkley needs 199 yards rushing for his third 1,000-yard season. ... Penn State has outscored opponents 104-3 in the first quarter. ... Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke set school records for completions (39) and yards passing (445) last weekend. ... The Spartans are 8-5 in their last 13 games against teams in the AP top 10, including a win at Michigan this year.
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