WEEK 6 PROJECTION vs. RESULTS
Final Score: 17-27, Penn State by 10 over Michigan
SP+ Projection: Penn State by 1.0 (-9.0)
CD Projection: Michigan by 1 (-11)
WEEK 6 RECAP vs. Penn State
Offensively, the Wolverines lost their first-half rhythm when Cade McNamara left the game with a shoulder injury. The broadcast team mentioned that Joe MIlton was also less than 100%, and he was unable to mount a charge. The salt in the wound for this week was Michigan netted 174 rushing yards. In my data set, they averaged 6.5 yards per run play (garbage time & sacks removed). However, they could not sustain drives and continue to move the chains. While McNamara was hurt, Hassan Haskins was inexplicably standing on the sideline. This week, Josh Gattis was unable to scheme his WRs open, and Michigan could only muster a 28% success rate on pass plays.
Defensively, I saw just about what I expected. While the defensive line was boosted by Kwity Paye’s return, the defensive interior could not stand up to Penn State’s mediocre offensive line. The Nittany Lions netted 254 rushing yards, and averaged 5.2 yards per run play in my data set. Michigan needed a big stop after tightening the score to 20-17 in the 4th quarter. The Wolverines were merely an annoyance to Penn State as they marched 75 yards in 5:00 to stretch the lead to 10. I think the defensive staff has adjusted to help mitigate the huge plays against man coverage outside, and that is commendable. I thought holding PSU under 30 would be enough to win, but instead James Franklin has his first win of 2020.
Last week, special teams hurt Michigan with 3 missed FGs. This week, it was 2 muffed punts, one of which resulted in a turnover and a field goal for Penn State. Michigan certainly missed Giles Jackson, who was the latest to hit the injury report. This year cannot end soon enough.
Every problem that plagues Michigan right now is also weighing down the Nittany Lions. The game was in Ann Arbor on a beautiful November day. All the potential excuses have withered and Michigan is left with just one option: acknowledging that they don’t know how to win football games right now.2020_11_28_PennState_27_Michigan_17-1