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Up Next: Penn State Is a Slight Home Favorite Vs. Michigan

The Nittany Lions have won two straight over the Wolverines, who lost a key running back to injury last week.

Penn State has hatched a new Beaver Stadium promotion for Saturday's visit from Michigan: the Helmet Stripe game.

Once designated as a student-section White Out, the Penn State-Michigan game instead will feature a few sections of fans wearing blue surrounded by about 100,000 in white. We'll see if it works.

On the field, the Lions seek a rare third consecutive win over Michigan, something they have done only twice before as members of the Big Ten.

Penn State (6-3) vs. No. 7 Michigan (8-1)

  • When: Noon EST Saturday
  • Where: Beaver Stadium
  • TV: ABC
  • Streaming: fuboTV
  • Betting Line: Penn State is a 1.5-point favorite, according to SI Sports Book
  • Series History: Michigan leads 14-10
  • Last Meeting: Penn State 27-17 in 2020
  • Streaks: Penn State has won the last two games

About the Lions: Quarterback Sean Clifford has been pretty good against the Michigan schools in his career. He's 4-0 as a starter against Michigan and Michigan State, with a 58.5-percent completion rate, three touchdowns and no interceptions vs. the Wolverines. Last year, Clifford returned to the starter's role against Michigan after being benched and rushed for 73 yards and a score in a 28-17 victory. Clifford appears to be healthy again (or as healthy as he can be in November), which has been the offense's central storyline the past month. As for the run game, well, at this point Penn State knows what it has. Clifford has thrown 99 times the past two games, accounting for 61.5 percent of the offensive plays. The Lions will continue trying to run (coach James Franklin said as much after the Maryland game) but that might entail even more throws. Clifford targeted the running backs 11 times against Maryland, with eight completions. The defense hopes to get back captains Jesse Luketa and Jonathan Sutherland, both of whom made the trip to Maryland but did not play because of injuries.

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About the Wolverines: Michigan brings the Big Ten's No. 2 scoring offense to Penn State, one that sustained a few injuries in its 29-7 win over Indiana last weekend. The most notable injury was to running back Blake Corum, who's averaging 6 yards per carry and has scored 10 touchdowns. Hassan Haskins, the team's leading rusher, handled the workload well, rushing for 168 yards, but Michigan likes to work in both backs. Corum's status for Saturday's game is uncertain but important. Quarterback Cade McNamara also spent some time in the injury tent against Indiana, ceding more snaps to freshman JJ McCarthy. The former 5-star recruit is a red-zone package for which Penn State must prepare. The Lions' offensive line will have its hands full with linebacker David Ojabo and defensive lineman Aiden Hutchinson, who have combined for 15.5 tackles for loss.

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