Penn State football vs. Michigan State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Nittany Lions battle Spartans

By Gracenote

Trace McSorley #9 of the Penn State Nittany Lions celebrates after rushing for a 12 yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Appalachian State Mountaineers on September 1, 2018 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo…

UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. - Penn State has had a week off to think about a painful loss to Ohio State and nearly a year to get over another to Michigan State. The eighth-ranked Nittany Lions will attempt to move on from the loss to the Buckeyes and get a measure of revenge against the Spartans when they host Michigan State on Saturday in a Big Ten tilt.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Penn State -13.5


Penn State, which lost 27-26 to Ohio State on Sept. 29 before getting last weekend off, was held scoreless in the fourth quarter against the Spartans last year before dropping a 27-24 decision on a last-second field goal. "I know we did not finish the game the way anybody wants us to finish the game," Franklin told reporters this week while referencing the Ohio State loss. "I get that. But okay, we understand that. We study that. We learn from that. We grow from that." The Spartans will come in eager to bounce back as well after an upset 29-19 loss at home to Northwestern that dropped them out of the national rankings. Michigan State enters with the top run defense in the country (33.8 yards per game) but is 13th in the Big Ten - 109th among FBS teams - in rushing offense (123 yards per game).


The Spartans allowed the Wildcats to pile up 373 yards through the air last week and Brian Lewerke (31-of-51, 329 yards and a touchdown) was unable to keep up as his team was held under 20 points for the second time this year. "We kind of take that personally," Lewerke told reporters Monday. "Our offense is kind of getting torn down and we realize we haven't been performing up to par, so I take that personally, being a leader on the offense, and I think all of us did a great job of communicating today [at a players-only meeting]." Lewerke - who has six TDs and six interceptions after posting 20 and seven, respectively, last year - relies heavily on Felton Davis III (23 catches, 374 yards) and Cody White (20, 300).


The intriguing matchup in this contest features quarterback Trace McSorley, who had a career-high 175 rushing yards versus Ohio State, against the Spartans' tough run defense. However, McSorley's top two regular-season passing games in his standout career have come against Michigan State, as he threw for 381 yards and three TDs in last year's loss and 376 along with four scores the previous season as a sophomore. Freshman star KJ Hamler had 138 receiving yards and a TD against the Buckeyes before exiting the game due to a hit to the head, but Franklin told reporters Hamler will play Saturday.


1. McSorley needs 40 passing yards to become the all-time leader in program history, moving past Christian Hackenberg (8,457).

2. Spartans K Matt Coghlin is a Big Ten-leading 8-of-8 on field goals, while Nittany Lions K Jake Pinegar (3-of-6) is last.

3. Michigan State has won four of the last five meetings but lost 45-12 in its previous visit to Happy Valley in 2016.

PREDICTION: Penn State 32, Michigan State 20

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