Drew Allar is expected to play the football game, but don’t expect him to actually throw the ball around too much on the hallowed grounds of Ford Field. Kaytron Allen finishes his run of end zone production with three scores on Sparty, and Allar sneaks one in on the goal line for good measure.
All the while, the defense does its thing and Penn State wins ugly against a Michigan State team that’s limping to the finish line.
Just as the majestic Land Grant Trophy always intended.
Penn State 31, Michigan State 10
Regardless of who starts for Penn State at quarterback, this is a game the Nittany Lions should win. The Michigan State offense is one of the worst groups in the Power 5, and with the Nittany Lions’ defense completely healthy, this is a spot where I could see them throw up a shutout.
Penn State 20, Michigan State 0
Last game for an interim coach and a primetime game, I expect Sparty to be loose and take some chances with trick plays, going for it on fourth down, etc. I’m hopeful that Drew Allar is back and that Penn State can resemble the team it was against Maryland. But, it’s more likely that this one is more akin to the Indiana game. I think Penn State gets the win, but it’s not all that fulfilling - sort of matching how all of us feel about another 10-2 season with the losses being to those two.
Penn State 27, Michigan State 17
I think Penn State actually comes out juiced up, as they seem to do in later games. Given that it’s not in the toasty confines of Spartan Stadium in late November, I think the offense looks reasonable, regardless of who plays at quarterback. In what will likely be the last game for a bunch of players, I expect many key personnel to put together career days as their collegiate careers come to a close.
The offense opens things up in the passing game, and falls back on the run as a safety blanket. The defense puts together another chaos-inducing performance, and generates a couple more turnovers as the Lions cruise.
Penn State 35, Michigan State 14
Given that the game is at Ford Field in Detroit and not Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, expect more of a 50/50 crowd for this one (perhaps majority PSU fans even, considering that Michigan State fans are mentally checked out from football and full bore into hoops season). Sparty will undoubtedly come out swinging, since they know this is their final game, but PSU should be able to withstand and counter-punch with a combination of defense and the ground game slowly grinding them down.
This one could resemble the Rutgers game in the sense that it’s close for a half before PSU starts pulling away by late third/early fourth quarter, due to superior talent and depth. The visiting Lions make it back-to-back 10-win regular seasons and NY6 bowl invites.
Penn State 34, Michigan State 10
A shortened week resulting in a Friday night regular season finale on the road screams “struggle.” However, Michigan State is not good (Yes, I am aware that they have won two in a row.) and the Penn State defense should have another outstanding performance. Offensively, Allen and Singleton should have a solid end to the regular season, and the combo of Allen, Singleton, and the starting QB (most likely Drew Allar) will almost double MSU’s rushing yards per game (currently sitting at 140). Two more scores for Kaytron, and even a defensive score make this a comfortable win.
Penn State 28, Michigan State 7
Jared (Originally in the Game Preview)
You have to give Michigan State credit. It’s been one thing after another for the past seven months. Their starting quarterback and star wide receiver left for the transfer portal after spring ball. Then head coach Mel Tucker was let go in the midst of an ugly sexual harrassment scandal in week two. The team was flailing with a six-game losing streak that included an 0-5 start in Big Ten play. It would have been so easy to pack things in for the season, but the Spartans will not quit. They enter the game winning two of the last three, and with a win on Friday night, could still manage to sneak into the bowl picture at 5-7 as it seems likely there will be more bowl spots than eligible teams this season.
It won’t be enough on Friday night though. There’s a clear gap between Ohio State and Michigan at the top and Penn State. There’s also a large gap between Penn State and the #4-14 teams in the conference. The Nittany Lions defense, provided they continue to play to their potential, will be able to keep points off the board while creating opportunities for the offense. While the offense has been lackluster, they will be able to do enough through the running game and working the tight ends to gradually build up a lead. It seems as though by this point we should know what’s coming, and just sit back to watch it unfold.
Penn State 31, Michigan State 7