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Up Next: Who's Healthy for Penn State and Michigan State?

The Lions and Spartans have plenty of questions ahead of their duel for the Land Grant Trophy.

Penn State and Michigan State will bring ragged rosters to their regular-season finale Saturday in East Lansing.

The Lions struggled with a team-wide flu outbreak before beating Rutgers, and coach James Franklin hopes to get his group back to functioning this week. Meanwhile, the Spartans suffered insult and injury in a 56-7 loss to Ohio State.

Which team has more left? Here's the first look at Penn State-Michigan State.

Penn State (7-4) vs. Michigan State (9-2)

  • When: 3:30 p.m. EST Saturday
  • Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
  • TV: ABC
  • Streaming: fuboTV
  • Betting Line: Penn State is a 1-point favorite, according to SI Sports Book
  • Series History: Tied 17-17-1
  • Last Meeting: Penn State 39-24 in 2020
  • Streaks: Penn State has won the last two meetings

About the Lions: First, Penn State has to get healthy. Twenty-one players missed the Rutgers game because of flu-like symptoms, and at one point the offensive line was down four starters. In addition, quarterback Sean Clifford's status once again is in question. Now, let's heap praise Penn State's defense. Sure, Rutgers didn't bring much offense to Beaver Stadium, but Penn State still was overwhelming. Rutgers moved one of its 14 drives into Penn State territory, reaching the red zone in the third quarter. That series ended when Jaquan Brisker and Arnold Ebiketie combined to pressure quarterback Noah Vedral into a sack-fumble, which Rutgers recovered but then turned over on downs. The red-zone stop was Penn State's 14th this season (in 37 possessions), a remarkable achievement for a defense that ranks second nationally to Georgia in fewest touchdowns allowed. Brisker, Ebiketie, tackle Derrick Tangelo, linebacker Ellis Brooks and cornerback Joey Porter Jr. have been exceptional this year and carry promising NFL futures. Punter Jordan Stout deserves an assist for pinning Rutgers inside its 20-yard line on six of eight punts.

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About the Spartans: Michigan State is reeling, physically and mentally, after an uncompetitive outing against the Buckeyes. Ohio State led 49-0 at halftime, eventually won by 49 and generated 655 yards of offense. The Spartans played without receiver Jalen Nailor, left tackle Jarrett Horst, defensive tackle Simeon Barrow and cornerback Charles Brantley. Then during the game, Kenneth Walker III, the Big Ten's leading rusher, and Jayden Reed, the team's leading receiver, were injured. Like Penn State's James Franklin, Spartans coach Mel Tucker doesn't address injuries publicly, so updates likely will be slim before Saturday. Tucker did say, however, that the team must "get as healthy as we possibly can." Another issue: Michigan State's pass defense. The Spartans rank 130th (out of 130 FBS teams) in completions (341), total passing yards (3,739) and yards per game (339.9) allowed. The completion statistic is astonishing, 70 more than Hawaii, which ranks 129th with 271 completions allowed. Whether Clifford or Christian Veilleux starts at quarterback, Penn State likely plans to throw across Spartan Stadium.

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