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|College Football 2018 Week 10 Preview||Saturday, 2018 November 3 - 10:25 am|
|Michigan completes its big three-game stretch against Penn State; N.C. State takes on Florida State.|
Michigan vs. Penn State, 3:45 PM ESPN
Well, here it is. Michigan certainly remembers the smackdown that Penn State laid down last year, and they especially remember how James Franklin attempted to run up the score at the end of the game. So motivation will not be a problem.
The Penn State defense has talent, but the defensive line isn't quite up to the standards of the line in previous years; they gave up 224 yards rushing against Indiana, whose offense might be similar to Michigan schematically (and with less talent). So I think Michigan will make a concerted effort to run between the tackles (in contrast to the gameplan against Michigan State), and to work the middle of the field with TE crossing routes.
For Penn State's offense, it all runs through McSorley, with Miles Sanders lurking to punish opponents who key on McSorley too hard. Inside zone is the staple play; you can expect that Michigan has practiced hard against that. The question is whether Penn State has had a chance to install any new wrinkles, and there are a couple of factors in play here: (a) the loss of Joe Moorhead at offensive coordinator might mean a less dynamic game plan, (b) Penn State did not have an extra week to prepare and might have already emptied its playbook in its four-week stretch of tough games. I think McSorley will need to throw the ball to win this game, so a lot hinges on the matchups between Michigan's talented corners and Penn State's athletic receivers.
It should be a good game... but Michigan, at home, and hungry, seems particularly dangerous right now. The Michigan defense is legit, and Shea Patterson has looked sharp lately.
Prediction: Michigan 31, Penn State 24.
N.C. State vs. Florida State, 3:30 PM ABC
So yeah, N.C. State didn't look great last week against Syracuse, but this FSU team is a different story. The short version: they suck. They've given up 380 yards per game and gained just 350. They are only rushing for 83 yards a game. They only managed to score 7 points against Syracuse.
N.C. State needs a win this week to right the ship after two straight losses, and I think this is a good opportunity.
Prediction: N.C. State 41, Florida State 13.
Games to Watch on TV
Some monster matchups this week.
At noon, the matchup of #10 Ohio State vs. Nebraska on Fox might be interesting. Nebraska is improving after a dismal start to the season, and given Ohio State's recent woes, this game could actually be competitive. Michigan State also plays Maryland on ESPN2, and that game will feature a ton of commentary about D.J. Durkin.
Things really heat up at 3:30. You've got the Michigan-Penn State game on ESPN (which is actually scheduled for 3:45, weird), and the NCSU-FSU game on ABC. Meanwhile #6 Georgia takes on #9 Kentucky on CBS; #13 West Virginia plays #17 Texas on Fox; #16 Iowa plays Purdue on ESPN2;
At 7:00, Duke plays at Miami on ESPN2, and boy, wouldn't it be a treat to see Miami lose that one. #4 Notre Dame plays Northwestern on ESPN, and maybe the SAT schools can make it two for two there. Maybe.
Your obvious Game of the Week is #1 Alabama vs. #3 LSU on CBS. Even ESPN is having GameDay in Baton Rouge despite the fact that the game is on CBS.
At 9:00 Stanford plays Washington on the Pac12 network, which might give some further clarity to the Pac12 North race. At 10:45 PM surprising Cal plays #8 Washington State on ESPN, and an upset there would do the opposite of providing clarity.
Posted by Ken in: sports
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