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Staff Predictions: Penn State vs. Michigan

Penn State football (0-5) will hit the road Saturday to take on Michigan (2-3) at the Big House.

The Nittany Lions have started off 0-5 for the first time ever and are desperately searching for their first win. The Wolverines, on the other hand, are coming off a 48-42 overtime win against Rutgers last week.

Our staff is split on whether Penn State will pick up its first win of the season this weekend.

Matt Rudisill (2-3): Michigan 31, Penn State 27

Michigan stinks, but Penn State is off to a historically bad start and may not win a game at all this season.

This is going to be a bad football game, folks. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t even matter what the score ends up being. I just believe Penn State will be even worse than Michigan.

Frankie Marzano (1-4): Penn State 31, Michigan 27

I honestly don’t know anymore. I could tell you that Michigan has an atrocious defense. I could tell you that the team hasn’t looked competitive since week one. I could tell you that it’s facing a quarterback crisis. Sadly, all of this describes the Nittany Lions, too.

Despite all of that, the Nittany Lions have to win eventually. Even though both teams are having disappointing seasons, any game against Michigan is a big game. I think it will bring out the best in Penn State and result in its first win in the Big House since 2009.

Connor Donohue (2-3): Michigan 31, Penn State 17

This one is going to be a doozy. Michigan is really bad and Penn State is worse. Please go do something else with your Saturday unless you hate yourself. 

With that said, I’m giving Michigan the advantage in this game for two reasons. One is that it’s in the Big House and even without fans, the travel and coronavirus protocols Penn State will go through will put it at a disadvantage. The second is Cade McNamara, who entered the game against Rutgers last week and threw for 260 yards and four touchdowns. Rutgers isn’t good, but McNamara had the Wolverines playing their best offensive football of the season.

Penn State is making history with how bad it is, so why not keep going? All aboard the 0-8 train. Let’s make history, ladies and gentlemen.

Samuel Brungo (1-4): Penn State 31, Michigan 30

Penn State sucks. Michigan (always) sucks. What the hell? Nittany Lions pull out their first win of the season. Michigan is making similar mistakes and has questions at quarterback. Let’s switch it up — give me some Ta’Quan Roberson and give me a W. Honestly, who knows at this point? State by one.

Connor Krause (0-5): Michigan 38, Penn State 24

After last week’s performance by Penn State on both sides of the ball, I no longer have much remaining optimism for the Nittany Lions on Saturday against the Wolverines.

Michigan seems to have found its quarterback in Cade McNamara, who completed 75% of his passes along with four touchdowns against Rutgers last weekend. Penn State’s defense has been suspect all season long, and I expect the duo of Hassan Haskins and Zach Charbonnet to capitalize on the Nittany Lions’ poor run defense.

Gabe Angieri (2-3): Michigan 24, Penn State 17

Both these teams are pretty bad, folks. Expect a sloppy football game that could really go either way. However, I’ll give the Wolverines the benefit of the doubt considering they’ve actually won a game this season.

Penn State’s offense is a mess right now with the quarterback controversy and the injuries in the running back room. The Nittany Lions may have to rely on two true freshman running backs, Keyvone Lee and Caziah Holmes, if Devyn Ford isn’t able to suit up. Penn State’s defense has been prone to big plays all season, and I expect that trend to continue Saturday afternoon.

Penn State will make it close in the end, but Michigan will come out on top, leaving the Nittany Lions with an 0-6 record.

Ryan Parsons (0-5): Penn State 24, Michigan 21

I’ve decided I’m just going to pick Penn State because they have to win eventually, right? Maybe this is the week everything comes together. There’s not much to say about this game other than it’s probably going to be ugly. All we can hope for is a low-scoring, hard-nosed Big Ten game. Nittany Lions by three, because why not.

Will Pegler (2-3): Michigan 15, Penn State 12

Michigan’s defense sucks, Penn State’s offense is bad, and this game is going to be ugly.

Even against a struggling defensive unit, I don’t expect the Nittany Lions’ offense to look any more competent against the Wolverines. Penn State is just without too much talent and is way too out of sync to do anything productive, and that will result in yet another loss Saturday.

Michigan’s five field goals will beat Penn State’s four, and Jim Harbaugh will prove why he gets paid the big bucks. The Nittany Lions will fly back to State College 0-6.

Matt DiSanto (3-2): Michigan 35, Penn State 17

Look, you’ve got some serious, serious problems if you’re still picking Penn State to win football games.

Michigan is averaging nearly 31 points a game and shouldn’t have trouble running up the score on an undisciplined Penn State defense. Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions are dropping like flies to injury and are facing a worsening quarterback controversy in which the options aren’t encouraging in the slightest.

Michigan *always* sucks. But for about three hours this weekend, the Wolverines will defy the laws of nature and give Dear Old State a spanking.

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