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What you need to know: Penn State vs. Wisconsin
UNIVERSITY PARK — Each week, we’ll tell you what to expect, what to keep an eye on, and where and when you can catch the Nittany Lions on fall Saturdays this season.
Game details: vs. Wisconsin, noon kickoff, broadcast on ABC.
Records: No. 21 Penn State, 6-3, 3-3 Big Ten, Wisconsin 6-3, 4-2 Big Ten.
Last week: Penn State got blown out against Michigan 42-7, while Wisconsin rebounded, beating Rutgers 31-17.
Venue: Beaver Stadium
Weather forecast (via AccuWeather): High of 38 degrees and partly sunny, with some morning flurries.
Overview: Two teams who began the season with college football playoff aspirations now meet with re-adjusted goals as they near the end of the season. The Badgers have lost two of their three road games this season, and quarterback Alex Hornibook was listed as questionable for the game on Wisconsin’s injury report, released Monday. Penn State has its own quarterback health questions so look for the running game to be featured more prominently. Miles Sanders struggled last week though has produced nearly 848 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the year. Wisconsin excels in that area (again), averaging a whopping 273 rushing yards per game, powered by Jonathan Taylor. Stop Taylor, and Penn State’s chances of winning skyrocket.
The line: Penn State - 8
All-time series: Tied 9-9
Last time they met (2016): Penn State claimed its fourth Big Ten title by completing a historic comeback against the Badgers in the conference championship, winning 38-31 in Indianapolis.
Throwback classic (2012): The Nittany Lions claimed a 24-21 overtime victory at Beaver Stadium, with Coach Bill O’Brien calling the team a bunch of “fighters” afterward on national television.
Penn State wins if: the Nittany Lions make the correct decision at quarterback, whatever that may be. While Trace McSorley has earned the right to play through pain, he clearly wasn’t at his best last week after suffering an injury against Iowa. Penn State might be able to pull out a victory with a hobbling McSorley, though Tommy Stevens would presumably give Penn State a better chance to win, provided he’s healthy and McSorley isn’t.
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