The Michigan State Spartans saw their hopes and dreams of winning a Big Ten championship, and a long-awaited return to the College Football Playoff, go up in a blaze last weekend on the road against Ohio State. This week, as the regular season comes to a close, the Spartans (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten) hope a return to their home field will do them well as they look to avoid an upset loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Penn State (7-4, 4-4) hasn't had quite the season it had imagined, but the Nittany Lions have the kind of defense that keeps them in every game they play. Close calls have tripped them up four times this season, and Penn State's run defense should be in for a battle against the Spartans and running back Kenneth Walker III. And with James Franklin having a fresh new long-term extension signed, the scrutiny over the Nittany Lions may only be increasing from here on out.
Will Penn State be able to pick up a win on the road in the battle for the Land Grant Trophy, one of the most awkward trophies there is in college football? Or will the Spartans end their terrific regular season with a win at home?
Penn State at No. 12 Michigan State
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 27 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Pick 'Em
When Penn State Has the Ball
If there is a big key to success against the Michigan State defense, it comes through the air. The Spartans have the nation's worst pass defense, which was a big reason for recent losses to Purdue and Ohio State. This will be an area where Penn State has to thrive. Sean Clifford is slotted to return to the starting lineup after leaving last week's game early due to injury and illness. Franklin was encouraged by the production of backup Christian Veilleux last week, but Clifford is the quarterback of this team.