Penn State Preview: Michigan State

The Land Grant Trophy is on the line when Penn State hosts Michigan State at Beaver Stadium on Saturday. Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

Our last game preview of the 2022 regular season is here. As always, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can watch the Nittany Lions this weekend.

Game details: No. 11 Penn State (9-2, 6-2) vs. Michigan State (5-6, 3-5). 4 p.m. kickoff. Broadcast on FS1.

Venue: Beaver Stadium

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): High temperature of 47. Variable cloudiness and wind gusts as high as 32 mph, with a 25% chance of rain.

The Line: Penn State -18.

All-Time Series: Michigan State leads 18-17-1.  

Last Week: Penn State raced past Rutgers, 55-10. Michigan State dropped a home matchup with Indiana in double overtime, 39-31.

Last Meeting (2021): In very snowy conditions, Penn State fell 30-27 last season in East Lansing. Sean Clifford led a late rally for the Nittany Lions that fell short, throwing for 313 yards and three touchdowns. Jahan Dotson caught eight passes for 137 yards and two scores, while Parker Washington had four catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.

The Lead: Expectations were sky high for Michigan State to begin the season. Coming off an 11-win season and Peach Bowl victory over Pitt, the Spartans were ranked No. 15 in the preseason AP Poll and were expected to challenge for the Big Ten East crown. Things have not gone according to plan for Mel Tucker’s squad, who sit at 5-6 overall and 3-5 in Big Ten play. The Spartans will need a win over Penn State on Saturday to become bowl eligible, something they failed to do at home last week against an Indiana team that had previously been winless since September.

Michigan State’s ground game will present a decent challenge for a Nittany Lions defense that has played exceptionally this season. Jalen Berger rushed for 119 yards for Sparty a week ago, while Elijah Collins collected 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns, giving MSU a decent duo of running backs. So much of what quarterback Peyton Thorne does is predicated on the Spartans establishing their ground attack.

Speaking of running back duos, what else is there to say about Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen? They’re phenomenal and only going to get better. With Allen’s 117 rushing yards against Rutgers, Allen (748 rushing yards) and Singleton (863 rushing yards) became the first freshman duo in Big Ten history to both rush for 700+ yards in a season.

Since 2000, Allen and Singleton are one of four FBS true freshman duos over 700 yards in a season. They are Penn State’s seventh 700+ rushing yards duo.

Look for the Nittany Lions to lean heavily on the freshmen pair once again on Saturday.

Keep An Eye On: The Penn State front seven. With 15 tackles for loss against the Scarlet Knights, Penn State has recorded at least seven tackles for loss in each of the last six games (Michigan, 7; Minnesota, 7, Ohio State, 7; Indiana, 16; Maryland, 9; Rutgers, 15).

The run defense also limited Rutgers to 32 rushing yards on 35 attempts (0.9 per attempt) and has limited eight opponents to less than 100 rushing yards this season. If the defense can stifle the ground game for the Spartans, the Nittany Lions have a great shot at moving to 10-2.

Big Ten Schedule:

– Nebraska at Iowa (Friday, 4 p.m. ET. BTN)

– No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State (Noon ET. FOX)

– Rutgers at Maryland (Noon ET. BTN)

– Illinois at Northwestern (3:30 p.m. ET. TBD)

– Minnesota at Wisconsin (3:30 p.m. ET. ESPN)

– Purdue at Indiana (3:30 p.m. ET. BTN)

Trivia Tidbit: Penn State head coach James Franklin earned his 100th career win last Saturday against Rutgers. He became the 27th active FBS coach with 100 career wins.

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Penn State Preview: Rutgers

Penn State remains on track for a 10-win season and will look to get win No. 9 on the year when it faces Rutgers on Saturday. Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions this football season.

Game details: 3:30 p.m. kickoff, at Rutgers, broadcast on Big Ten Network.

Venue: SHI Stadium (52,454.

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): High of 41. Sunny to partly cloudy, breezy and chilly; coldest air so far this season; feeling like January, so dress warmly if you’re going to be in attendance for the game.

The Line: Penn State -19.5.

All-Time Series: Penn State leads 30-2.

Last week: Penn State blanked Maryland, 30-0. Rutgers fell at Michigan State, 27-21.

Last meeting (2021): With a flu-bug taking its toll on the team, including starting quarterback Sean Clifford, backup Christian Veilleux led the Nittany Lions to a gritty 28-0 win over the Scarlet Knights in a late November clash. Jahan Dotson, Parker Washington and Malick Meiga caught touchdown passes and Keyvone Lee ran for a score for the Nittany Lions. Veilleux completed 15 of 24 passes for 235 yards.

The Lead: The 33rd meeting between Penn State and Rutgers sees both schools competing with plenty to play for. If Penn State can beat Rutgers and then Michigan State next week on Senior Day, a New Year’s Six berth is a strong possibility. Rutgers, meanwhile, can earn a bowl bid with a win over the Nittany Lions and then another over Maryland in the finale.

Penn State comes into this one with plenty of momentum, notching back to back resounding victories against Indiana and Maryland. The offense has been efficient in those wins and the defense has been suffocating. Penn State followed up 16 tackles for loss and six sacks against the Hoosiers with nine tackles for loss and seven sacks against Maryland, it marks the first time since 2007 that the Nittany Lions have recorded six or more sacks in back-to-back games.

Much like the previous two games on the schedule, this one heavily favors Penn State. The Nittany Lions are playing some of their best football of the season, using the combination of an explosive rushing attack and dominant defense. That typically paves the way for success in the cold days of November.

Greg Schiano has Rutgers on the right track, however, this one shouldn’t be close.

Keep An Eye On: Juice Scruggs. It’s not as easy to watch a center from afar as it is a quarterback or running back, but Penn State’s snapper deserves praise and attention. Penn State’s offensive line has been an improved unit this season, despite some injury troubles. Scruggs has played a huge part in that.

Check out this great feature from Sports Illustrated writer and Penn State alum Mark Wogenrich on Scruggs’ importance to the offense.

Big Ten Schedule:

– Illinois at No. 3 Michigan (Noon. ABC)

– Wisconsin at Nebraska (Noon. ESPN)

– Northwestern at Purdue (Noon. FS1)

– Indiana at Michigan State (Noon. BTN)

– No. 11 Penn State at Rutgers (3:30 p.m. BTN)

– No. 2 Ohio State at Maryland (3:30 p.m. ABC)

– Iowa at Minnesota (4 p.m. FOX)

Roar Tour: Penn Staters can also join in Piscataway this weekend for our Roar Tour event before the Nittany Lions face Rutgers. Get all the details for our Roar Tour regular season finale here. We hope to see you there.

Penn State In The Polls: Penn State jumped up to No. 11 in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Nittany Lions received the same ranking in the AP Poll. The USA Today Coaches Poll placed Penn State at No. 12.

Trivia Tidbit: Fourteen Penn State players have at least one sack this season, which is tied for the most among Power Five teams.

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Penn State Preview: Maryland

Penn State has completely dominated the series against Maryland (41-3-1) and won 31-14 last season at College Park (pictured). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Beaver Stadium, and alumni and fans not attending can catch the game on FOX. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions this football season.

Game details: 3:30 p.m. kickoff, vs. Maryland, broadcast on FOX.

Venue: Beaver Stadium, where Penn State boasts an all-time record of 308-80.

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): High of 49; breezy and cooler with intervals of clouds and sunshine.

The line: Penn State -12.

All-time series: Penn State leads 41-3-1.

Last week: Penn State rolled Indiana 45-14, while Maryland stumbled at Wisconsin, 23-10.

Last meeting (2021): The Nittany Lions brushed aside the Terps 31-14 at College Park, with Sean Clifford throwing three touchdowns — all to Jahan Dotson, who scored four times early this season for the NFL’s Washington Commanders before an injury sidelined him. Current safety and team captain, safety Ji’Ayir Brown, iced the win with an 87-yard interception returned for a touchdown.

The lead: Saturday’s game features the third- and fourth-ranked scoring offenses in the Big Ten, with Penn State (34.4) and Maryland (31.4) both averaging 30-plus per game. The two squads are also ranked together for scoring defense: Penn State (21.1), Maryland (24).

So, what will give?

At 6-3, Maryland is having a successful season by its standards, though the Terps lost to Michigan and have yet to face Ohio State, so Maryland has largely feasted on mid- and lower-tiered teams. Penn State defensive tackle Chop Robinson faces his former team, transferring to University Park from College Park, home to Maryland. The Terps beat Indiana and Northwestern by a combined 12 points. That’s respectable, I guess, though that type of effort won’t get them a win Saturday.

Penn State’s the better team, so from any angle, with much more to play for this season. If the Nittany Lions stay focused and don’t play down to their competition — and play up to their standards — they should continue their march to a 10-win season.

Big Ten schedule:

Indiana at Ohio State, noon (FOX)

Rutgers at Michigan State, noon (BTN)

Purdue at Illinois, noon (ESPN2)

Wisconsin at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

Nebraska at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Maryland at Penn State, 3:30 p.m. (FOX)

Northwestern at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. (BTN)

Academic excellence: Per Penn State football’s game notes: A total of 552 Penn State student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since the team began competing in the conference in 1993. Each honoree totaled at grade point average of at least 3.0 while being a letterwinner.

Trivia tidbit: Penn State tied a program record last week with 16 tackles for loss.

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Hoosier Hospitality

The Pep Band — comprised of members of the Blue Band — performs during Friday night’s welcome event in Bloomington. The Alumni Association funds the Pep Band’s travel expenses for away football games, helping to bring Penn State spirit to alumni and fans across the country.

Felt good to return to Bloomington. It had been a while, you see.

Not for the football team. The Nittany Lions visited two years ago to play the Hoosiers. Though since COVID restrictions were securely in place, we (the Alumni Association) didn’t have the opportunity to travel and catch up with our Indiana Chapter. Friday night, for the first time in four years, that changed, as about 50 alumni and fans packed a reserved space in one of downtown Bloomington’s popular gathering spots. For anyone familiar with Bloomington, it was Crazy Horse, on Kirkwood Avenue, right through the heart of downtown.

You can see the archived livestream of the Pep Band and cheer squad performing on Facebook, and members will see and hear more from the band and cheerleaders in Monday’s email. The students will appear during Saturday’s Roar Tour, the premier pregame pep rally we host at away games. And as a perk, we’ll also send the email to non-members who attend the Roar Tour stop.

Earlier, we walked around Indiana football’s Memorial Stadium, sharing the customary photos we always aim to get on the road. Mainly, Penn State football’s massive equipment truck and a few stadium images. You can’t miss the equipment truck, though we almost did this evening, not seeing it until we finished our lap, tucked beneath the stadium’s lower concourse.

For the rest of the weekend, stay tuned to our Facebook page and Twitter channels for the Alumni Association and The Football Letter.

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PENN STATE PREVIEW: INDIANA

Theo Johnson (No. 84) and Penn State can equal last season’s win total (7) with a victory over Indiana on Saturday. The Nittany Lions tangle with the Hoosiers at 3:30 p.m. ET in Bloomington. Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions this football season.

Game details: at Indiana, kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET, broadcast on ABC.

Records: No. 15 Penn State (6-2, 3-2), Indiana (3-5, 1-4).

Venue: Memorial Stadium (52,656), Bloomington, Indiana.

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): High of 68, with rain showers in the morning. Mostly cloudy with the rain tapering off; windy in the morning, turning warm in the afternoon.

The line: Penn State -15.

All-Time Series: Penn State leads 23-2. The Nittany Lions have emerged victorious in seven of the last eight matchups.

Last Week: Penn State dropped a tough one to No. 2 Ohio State, 44-31, after leading midway through the fourth quarter. Indiana is coming off a bye but lost the week prior to Rutgers, 17-24. The Hoosiers have lost five-straight games. Their last win came against Western Kentucky on Sept. 17.

Last Meeting (2021): Penn State blanked Indiana in Beaver Stadium, 24-0. The Penn State defense held Indiana to 264 total yards, while Ji’Ayir Brown and Joey Porter Jr. each had a pick. Sean Clifford threw three touchdown passes, including two to Jahan Doston and one to Brenton Strange.

PENN STATE 24 – Indiana 0. 2021 Stripe Out. Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

The Lead: The Nittany Lions can’t afford to dwell on their defeat to the Buckeyes last Saturday with a trip to Bloomington now on tap. Penn State can already match last season’s win total (7) with a triumph over the Hoosiers and maintain a decent position to earn a New Year’s Six Bowl Berth.

Indiana is one of the Big Ten’s basement dwellers thus far and lost to Rutgers the last time it played. With that result in mind and coming off a bye, expect head coach Tom Allen’s to come out a little feisty in front of the home crowd at Memorial Stadium and keep it competitive with Penn State early.

With all due respect though, this game shouldn’t be close entering the fourth quarter. Penn State proved last week it has what it takes to hang with the best of the best in the Big Ten, outplaying Ohio State for most of the afternoon. Now, it’s about matching that level of play every time the Nittany Lions take the field.

Scouting Indiana: Indiana has struggled on both sides of the ball in conference play, ranking last in the Big Ten in scoring defense and 11th in scoring offense.

Missouri transfer Connor Bazelak hasn’t quite hit his stride for the Hoosiers, completing 208-of-379 passes (55%) for 2,099 yards and 12 touchdowns to 9 interceptions.

Indiana also ranks dead last in the Big Ten in rushing offense with just 80.4 yards per game. Shaun Shivers leads Hoosier ball-carriers with 405 yards on the season.

Keep An Eye On: Parker Washington. Washington has been playing some stellar football over the past few weeks and set career highs in catches (11) and receiving yards (179) against Ohio State. His 179 yards are the ninth-highest in a single game in Penn State history. Washington joined Jahan Dotson as the only Nittany Lion receivers to have multiple 100-yard receiving games against Ohio State.

Roar Tour: We’re looking forward to another fun Roar Tour event in Bloomington this weekend before Penn State takes on Indiana. Penn Staters can also join us on Nov. 19 in Piscataway before the Nittany Lions face Rutgers. Get all the details for our Roar Tour regular season finale at Rutgers here. We hope to see you there.

Penn State In The Polls: Penn State checks in at No. 15 in this season’s first College Football Playoff Rankings, one of four Big Ten teams to feature in the rankings — Ohio State (No. 2), Michigan (No. 5) and Illinois (No. 16) are the other three. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 16 in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

Trivia tidbit, Part 1: Penn State has registered 60 pass breakups this season, 15 more than any other FBS team.

Trivia tidbit, Part 2: Penn State and Indiana first played in 1993, the Nittany Lions’ first season in the Big Ten.

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Saving The Roar: World Television Premiere

The 2012 team, pictured on Senior Day prior to beating Wisconsin, had its story detailed in Saving The Roar. The film’s world television premiere is set for January, with cornerback Steph Morris (No. 12, second from left, middle row), sharing the news during his appearance on Football Letter Live. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

The timing worked out nicely.

We’re not in the habit of breaking news at The Football Letter. It’s never been part of our approach, and the phrase itself has been overused by seemingly everybody and every organization to place extra emphasis on common knowledge.

However, in this case, the framing fits.

We were thrilled to welcome letterman cornerback Steph Morris to Football Letter Live last month, and while we were talking in the studio before starting the broadcast, Morris shared an exciting and well-deserved update regarding Saving The Roar, a documentary that details the triumph of the 2012 team. You can learn more about the film, which had its world theatrical premiere last year, on its site.

The film’s director and producer, Michael Nash, sent Morris a message about 90 minutes before the show, sharing the news that Warner Bros. Discovery purchased Saving The Roar, and the film will have its world television premiere on Jan. 28, 2023. Additional details are TBD, and we’ll share them when they’re available.

You can watch Morris’ entire appearance on the show on our Facebook page — his Q&A starts around the 28:00 minute mark and he talks extensively about the 2012 senior class and the film. You can also see a select portion of his interview in the embedded video below. The standout cornerback talked about the importance of honoring his commitment, a common theme among that senior class.

We’ve also included a video below of some players from the 2012 team being recognized during the White Out last month. Penn State blew past Minnesota 45-17, with the players addressing the crowd between the first and second quarters.



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Penn State Preview: Ohio State

Parker Washington (3) and the Nittany Lions host second-ranked Ohio State on Saturday at noon. A win this weekend sets up Penn State for a potential run for the Big Ten East Division title in November. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions this football season.

Game details: vs. Ohio State, kickoff at noon, broadcast on FOX.

Records: No. 13/13 Penn State (6-1, 3-1), No. 2/2 Ohio State (7-0, 4-0).

Venue: Beaver Stadium, where Penn State boasts an all-time mark of 308-79.

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): High of 58, sunny to partly cloudy. Temps should already be in the low 50s by the time the tailgating lots open at 8 a.m. and should hover in the mid-50s until reaching nearly 60 later in the afternoon. And no significant chance of rain.

The line: Penn State +15

All-time series: Ohio State leads 23-14.

Last week: Penn State bulldozed Minnesota 45-17 on Homecoming Weekend, while Ohio State trounced Iowa 54-10.

Last meeting (2021): Ohio State won 33-24 Columbus, after holding only a three-point edge heading into the fourth quarter.

The lead: Win Saturday, and Penn State vaults itself back into a Top-10 ranking and the conversation for both the Big Ten title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. And all of a sudden, November becomes very interesting. Penn State will be favored in each of its four games next month, and probably be at least a touchdown.

A week after a performance that earned him offensive player of the week in the Big Ten, quarterback Sean Clifford will need another near-flawless outing: he threw for 295 yards and fourth touchdowns, also throwing his third interception. He and his teammates don’t need to be perfect against Ohio State, though certainly their margin of error is slimmer Saturday than it will be at any other point this season.

Worth noting: Penn State will host Big Noon Kickoff, FOX’s college football pregame show, live from University Park for the first time. The broadcast will begin at 10 a.m. and lead up to the game at noon.

Roar Tour: Game result aside, last weekend was a lot of fun, and we always appreciate the opportunity to spend time with our alumni and fans. You can see the action from the Roar Tour at Michigan with our Flickr gallery and by visiting the Live tab on our Facebook page, which has all our archived livestreams featuring the Pep Band, Penn State Cheerleaders, and Nittany Lion. You can join us at either Indiana (Nov. 5), and/or Rutgers (Nov. 19), and we hope to see you next month on the road.

Keep an eye on: Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. The Heisman Trophy candidate spearheads the Buckeyes’ impressive offense, as he’s thrown for 28 touchdowns against only four interceptions.

Academic excellence: A total of 552 of Penn State football student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since 1993 for owning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner.

Trivia tidbit, Part 1: Penn State didn’t allow any sacks against Minnesota, a feat the Nittany Lions have achieved three times this season.

Trivia tidbit, Part 2: ICYMI: Sean Clifford became the all-time completions leader at Penn State last week, and the four-time team captain now has 722, two ahead of Trace McSorley.

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Penn State Preview: Minnesota

Penn State hosts Minnesota on Saturday night for the Nittany Lions’ 14th full-stadium White Out. Last season, Penn State upended Auburn 28-20 during the program’s yearly White Out game. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions this football season.

Game details: vs. Minnesota, 7:30 p.m. kickoff, broadcast on ABC.

Records: No. 16 Penn State (5-1, 2-1) vs. Minnesota (4-2, 2-1).

Venue: Beaver Stadium, where Penn State boasts an all-time mark of 307-79.

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): Thank goodness. After nonstop rain against Northwestern and chilly conditions in Ann Arbor, the forecast is calling for a high of 68 and a minimal 5% change of precipitation. So, there should be great tailgating weather. By the time kickoff rolls around, temps will dip and eventually settle into the high 40s.

The line: Penn State –4.5

All-time series: Penn State leads 9-6, with a 5-2 advantage at home.

Last week: Penn State suffered its first defeat of the season at Michigan (41-17), while Minnesota dropped its second straight, falling to surprisingly good Illinois (26-14).

Last meeting (2019): The Gophers won in Minneapolis in a battle of ranked teams. No. 17 Minnesota handed No. 17 Penn State a crippling blow to the Nittany Lions’ conference and national title hopes, winning 31-26.

Throwback classic (1994): In Penn State’s conference opener, the Nittany Lions went on the road and wiped out the Gopher, winning 56-3. Recently on Football Letter, former equipment manager Spider Caldwell said following that game, Minnesota’s coaches told Penn State’s staff that they knew exactly what the Nittany Lions were going to run, and they still couldn’t stop them. You can see Spider’s full interview on our Facebook page, which begins around the 30:30 mark.

The lead: So, will history repeat itself again? It’s beyond cliché to ask this question, though it must be asked. Following its first loss of the season in recent memory, Penn State has shown a tendency to trip up again the following week. It’s near impossible to imagine a letdown during a primetime kickoff in the White Out, though the Nittany Lions looked sluggish for the entire first quarter in Ann Arbor following their bye. If that happens again, look out.

As we said in The Letter earlier this week, with true freshman and highly prized recruit Drew Allar available to go, a lot of eyes will look toward the sideline with every Penn State possession that doesn’t result in points. That’s not good for the offense. That’s not good for the defense. That’s not good for anyone in the program.

During his weekly press conference on Tuesday, James Franklin said that Clifford has earned the right to be on the field. He’s right. Beyond everything that he’s contributed to the program, Clifford has looked sharp for most of the season, leading the Nittany Lions to a 5-0 start and a Top-10 ranking before the misstep at Michigan. Reverse that result this weekend against the Gophers, and suddenly, the showdown with Ohio State the following week can vault Penn State back into the conference title conversation and significantly decrease Michigan’s margin of effort.

Roar Tour: Game result aside, last weekend was a lot of fun, and we always appreciate the opportunity to spend time with our alumni and fans. You can see the action from the Roar Tour at Michigan with our Flickr gallery and by visiting the Live tab on our Facebook page, which has all our archived livestreams featuring the Pep Band, Penn State Cheerleaders, and Nittany Lion. You can join us at either Indiana (Nov. 5), and/or Rutgers (Nov. 19), and we hope to see you next month on the road.

Keep an eye on: Penn State’s defensive front-seven. A week following a painful outing against Michigan, which ran for 400-plus yards, the Nittany Lions face another opponent who likes to keep it on the ground. How Penn State’s defensive line and linebackers hold up against the run, and guard against fatigue, will be critical. Will be interesting to see how many players Manny Diaz rotates in throughout the game.

Academic excellence: A total of 552 of Penn State football student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since 1993 for owning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner.

Trivia tidbit, Part 1: Saturday will be Penn State’s 14th full-stadium White Out, per Penn State Athletics.

Trivia tidbit, Part 2: Sean Clifford passed 10,000-career yards against Michigan last week. Not years. If you know, you know.

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Michigan Chapter Magic

The Pep Band, Penn State Cheerleaders, and Nittany Lions thrilled alumni and fans at tonight’s alumni mixer in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

We felt right at home this evening in Michigan. Thanks, largely, to the efforts of our Michigan Chapter.

Along with the Penn State Alumni Association, our Michigan Chapter organized and hosted our Friday night gathering, which featured the Pep Band, Penn State Cheerleaders, and Nittany Lion. The scene took place at Arbor Brewing Company in nearby Ypsilanti, about 10-15 miles from Michigan Stadium.

You can watch the archived livestream on our Facebook page featuring the band and cheer team, along with the non-live recording on our Twitter feed.

Michigan Chapter President Brodie Schultz ’15, ’17g welcomed alumni and fans on the eve of Penn State’s Top-10 showdown with Michigan. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

The chapter sold a raffle and Grilled Stickies that benefited its scholarship program, and plenty of folks showed up early to ensure everything was ready to go.

Chapter President Brodie Schultz ’15, ’17g welcomed Penn Staters on the eve of the Nittany Lions’ Top-10 showdown with the Wolverines on Saturday — kickoff is set for noon on FOX — following his appearance this week on Football Letter Live. Brodie talks about the inspiration behind his creating the chapter’s signature event, a golf outing supporting THON, and how the chapter connects Penn Staters year-round.

You can learn more info about the Michigan Chapter, including its event schedule, social handles, and more, on the chapter’s website.

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Penn State Preview: Michigan

Keyvone Lee and the unbeaten Nittany Lions head to Michigan this weekend for a Top-10 matchup against the Wolverines. Kickoff is set for noon on FOX. Photo credit: Steve Manuel.

Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions this football season.

Game details: at Michigan, noon kickoff, broadcast on FOX.

Records: No. 10 Penn State (5-0, 2-0) at No. 5/4 Michigan (6-0, 3-0).

Venue: Michigan Stadium, where Penn State won 27-17 during its last trip in 2020.

Weather forecast (via Accuweather): Old school football weather, with a high of 58 degrees. The forecast also calls for intervals of clouds and sunshine, with a possible shower.

The line: Penn State +7

All-time series: Michigan leads 15-10, including an 8-4 mark in Ann Arbor.

Last week: Penn State had a bye, while Michigan pulled away from Indiana in the second half for a 31-10 victory at Bloomington.

Last meeting: Michigan escaped Beaver Stadium with a 21-17 win.

Prior to kickoff in Ann Arbor in 2018, both the Penn State and Michigan bands performed pre-game, before ROTC Cadet and active duty Marines saluted during the flag-raising, and four F-16 Fighting Falcons flew over Michigan Stadium. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

Throwback classic (1994): Do you believe in messages from the universe? The year of Penn State’s run to the Big Ten and Rose Bowl title in 1994, the Nittany Lions faced Michigan in Ann Arbor on Oct. 15, with a 5-0 record, coming off a bye. That’s the exact situation Penn State heads into this weekend. Defensive back Tony Pittman started for that team — and led Penn State in interceptions the previous season — and you can hear Pittman chat about that team (and game) on this week’s episode of Football Letter Live. Tony appeared with his father, Charlie, a letterman running back who led Penn State in rushing and to two victories in the Orange Bowl in the late 1960s.

The lead: If Penn State will contend for a conference championship and possible spot in the College Football Playoff, going 2-1, at a minimum, over the next three weeks, is absolutely necessary. After Michigan breezed through a non-conference scheduled that offered little resistance, the Wolverines bested Maryland, Iowa, and Indiana to open Big Ten play.

For Nittany Lion quarterback and team captain, Sean Clifford, opportunities like the one coming Saturday will largely define his last season, and perhaps his career. Go into Michigan, lead a win over the fourth-ranked team in the country, and propel the team forward will go a long way this season and beyond.

Michigan boasts the seventh-best rushing offense in the country. The flip side: Penn State has the fifth-best rushing defense in the nation. If one side can assert itself at the line in a significant way, that advantage should be a determining factor. Turnovers — forcing and avoiding — will be another. Sounds simple, though as linebacker Tyler Elsdon said a few weeks: “Football, at the end of the day, it’s about tackling and blocking. The team that tackles best and blocks best usually wins.”

Against Central Michigan last month, true freshman running back Kaytron Allen rushed for 111 yards on 13 carries — the first 100-yard rushing game of his career. Photo credit: Steve Manuel

Shoutout to our Michigan Chapter: Our Michigan Chapter — along with the Alumni Association — will host an alumni mixer Friday night. The event has been sold out for weeks, and you can learn more by visiting the chapter’s website and watching this week’s episode of Football Letter Live. Chapter President Brodie Schultz joined the show to preview the weekend and talk about the chapter’s impact and experience in uniting Penn Staters. You can also visit our active list of chapters and affiliate groups to connect with alumni near you or with whom you have shared interests.

Roar Tour: If you’re heading to Ann Arbor for the game, we hope to see you at our Roar Tour pregame pep rally Saturday morning. See the pep band, cheerleaders, and Nittany Lions, and members who attend will receive a commemorative lanyard with the 2022 football schedule and roster.You can sign up for the Roar Tour at Michigan on our site.

Keep an eye on: true freshmen running backs Kaytron Allen and Nick Singleton. The duo is averaging 153 rushing yards per game this season, and finding space for them beyond the initial blocks will be crucial for Penn State to build offensive rhythm.

Academic excellence: A total of 552 of Penn State football student-athletes have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors since 1993 for owning at least a 3.0 grade point average and being a letterwinner.

Trivia tidbit, Part 1: Singleton ranks in the FBS, averaging 7.35 yards per carry.

Trivia tidbit, Part 2: Sean Clifford has totaled 8,869 career passing yards, second all-time at Penn State. Trace McSorely is ahead with 9,901.

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