3 Things to Watch for Against Penn State

3 Things to Watch for Against Penn State

Football

3 Things to Watch for Against Penn State

A week off and a big win over Michigan State has Michigan prepared for this game against Penn State

Penn State is coming off a big win over Iowa and jumped to No. 14 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

This week is huge for the Wolverines as they are ranked fifth in the CFP rankings and a win here could help them possibly move up, and with No. 1 Alabama playing No. 3 LSU, the loser could fall outside the top 4 and bump Michigan up. For now, Michigan just needs to focus on Penn State and Penn State only and here are the three things to watch for in this week’s game.

1. How Will Michigan’s Offensive Line Do?

Penn State has the 64th ranked defense in the country heading into Saturday’s matchup, but the biggest problem for the Michigan offense is going to be containing the Penn State defensive line, which is a top ten team in both sacks and tackles for loss.

Defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos is the main problem that Michigan will have to focus on. Michigan might have to direct runs to the opposite way of him and quarterback Shea Patterson might have to scramble more if pressure comes his way.

Running back Karan Higdon isn’t afraid of a challenge and with him having his best season yet if the offensive line can contain Penn State’s defensive line, Higdon could have a good day.

2. How Will Trace McSorley Perform?

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley was hyped up as the top quarterback in the Big Ten to start the season, and while he has played well, still isn’t as good as he was projected to be. Michigan has their own version of McSorley in Patterson and they practice with that every week.

McSorley runs more than Patterson, but Michigan should be prepared to stop McSorley and after last years game, they are going to do their best to stop McSorley overall.

If Michigan can put pressure on McSorley and keep a spy on him, his day could be very long. Michigan has the number one defense in the country for a reason and after last year’s horrible 42-13 beatdown, they certainly won’t let that happen again.

3. How Much Of A Factor Will Tarik Black Be?

Against Michigan State, wide receiver Tarik Black returned to the field for the first time this year as he is battling a leg injury and he was on the field for three plays, never seeing the ball go his way. After a week off and getting cleared by doctors, odds are Black can return at 100 percent this week.

This offense hasn’t seen Black play in over a year and with other wide receivers Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones emerging as threats, along with tight end Zach Gentry, how will Black returning affect everyone else?

Black was the leading receiver last season before he got hurt and his role on the offense could be changed with others stepping up to the plate, or he could come back where he left off and just be a complete wide receiver and take over that number one role once again. If Black is still limited, it will be a bummer, but if Black is a full go, this offense could be really fun to watch.

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