Penn State dispatched of Michigan State 45-12 on Saturday, and the Wisconsin Badgers beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 31-17. These two games set the stage for a huge Big 10 Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this Saturday evening.
For Nittany Lions fans, a season that started out somewhat bleak and disappointing has shifted gears to one of the most memorable in the past few decades. The squad has rattled off eight consecutive victories, including wins over Ohio State and many other dangerous opponents.
They have largely been propelled by the accurate and strong throwing arm of quarterback Trace McSorley and the nimble and powerful legs of running back SaQuan Barkley. When running on all cylinders, the squad has been mowing through opponents, utilizing especially strong second halves. In order to leave Indy with a huge Big 10 Championship win, they will have to be clicking against a tough Wisconsin squad that ranks slightly ahead of them, according to most recent releases.
The Badgers are more vulnerable against the pass then they are against the run the season, but they are highly -ranked in both regards. They have the 3rd-overall ranked defense in all of college football, allowing just a sliver over 100 yards per game on the ground. They’ve kept opponents to an average of less than 200 yards through the air, good enough for the 22nd-overall ranking.
Penn State has the 20th-overall ranked defense in college football, highlighted by a passing defense that holds opponents to just about 10 yards more than the Badgers are relinquishing. The story in this game will be told on the ground, and I’m putting the magic number at 85. If Barkley is able to get more than 85 yards on the ground, Penn State wins and an artist somewhere in a Pennsylvania studio begins the initial blueprints of a James Franklin statue.
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