Penn State-Michigan Preview Capsule

The Associated Press

Penn State (2-1, 0-0) at No. 4 Michigan (3-0, 0-0), 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Michigan by 18½.

Series Record: Michigan leads 12-7.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The Wolverines haven’t won a Big Ten title since 2004, and beating the Nittany Lions would put them one small step closer to ending the drought. James Franklin, 16-13 overall and 6-10 in the Big Ten at Penn State, and his once-proud program desperately need a signature win.

KEY MATCHUP

Penn State’s big-play offense vs. Michigan’s defense. Trace McSorley has thrown passes of 40 yards or longer to five teammates. Saquon Barkley scored on a 55-yard run to help the Nittany Lions pull away to beat Temple last week, and has a 40-yard catch. The Wolverines have been picked apart at times in the last two games, giving up an 87-yard run to Central Florida and a 70-yard pass to Colorado.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Penn State: McSorley, a first-year starter, is leading a newly installed spread offense after backing up Christian Hackenberg. The sophomore has a Big Ten-best 828 yards passing and has thrown four two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Michigan: CB Jourdan Lewis. The second-team All-American is expected to play for the first time. The Wolverines need the shutdown cornerback in the lineup against Penn State’s big-play receivers.

FACTS & FIGURES

Penn State has scored 106 points, its highest total after three games since 2008. … Michigan LB Jabrill Peppers was named Big Ten special teams and co-defensive player of the week. … Nittany Lions LB Brandon Smith is expected to make his first start, stepping up for a team that has lost all three starting LBs to injuries. … Michigan WR Amara Darboh has scored in three straight games and has a 23-game streak with a reception.

___

AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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