Can Penn State beat Michigan?
It’s the Game of the Week, as Dan Wolken and Paul Myerberg discuss whether or not Penn State can beat Michigan in Week 11.
There are only three Saturdays left in November, and the college football season is getting down to the nitty-gritty with playoff berths, conference titles, bowl bids, or even just bragging rights out there.
The stress of the situation can lead to unexpected results. This Saturday provides plenty of opportunities for unrest and unexpected results. The hard part is determining when and where those moments will happen.
That’s why we’re here to make sense of things. USA TODAY Sports’ college football team – Scooby Axon, Jess Evans, Paul Myerberg, Eric Smith, Eddie Temanos and Dan Wolken – make bold predictions for Week 11 of the college football season.
LSU’s Jayden Daniels makes Heisman statement
The Heisman race is getting tighter and presumptive front-runner Michael Penix Jr. has some company in LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels. Daniels and the Tigers face Florida this weekend and need some help to get back into contention for the SEC West title. But Daniels will face a Gators team where he will throw for at least 300 yards and run for another 50 against a Florida defense allowing six yards per play. – Scooby Exxon
what do you want to watch: The seven biggest games of Week 11
Weekend forecast: Predictions for all 25 games in Week 11
A much needed win for Penn State against Michigan
There’s a lot going on in Michigan right now, as you’ve all noticed. This seems like a bad time for the Wolverines to face their toughest challenge of the year so far. No team in college football has looked better this year… and no good team has played with so few good opponents. I think the Wolverines stumble in Happy Valley as controversy swirls around them, giving Penn State and coach James Franklin a needed win in a big game. — Jess Evans
Freedom from the New Year’s Six with a loss to Old Dominion
Liberty loses to Old Dominion as a near-favorite twice and is essentially eliminated from the Group of Five race in the New Year’s Six. Ultimately, the Flames’ only real chance at finishing as the top-ranked non-major league team required an unbeaten season due to a mediocre win list and Conference USA’s weakness. ODU was further tested after playing two Power Five teams in non-conference play and multiple teams with winning records in the Sun Belt. – Paul Myerberg
Oklahoma State surprises Central Florida
Coming back down to earth emotionally after one of the biggest wins in program history is never an easy task. That’s the challenge facing the Cowboys after their defeat of Oklahoma in Bedlam’s final game for the foreseeable future. Now comes a dangerous trip to Orlando against the Knights, who need this game in their quest to become eligible to play. UCF’s run defense will do enough to contain Ollie Gordon II and lead an upset that shakes up the Big 12 title race. — Eric Smith
North Carolina State falls to Duke
I made a mistake last week when I tried to properly display a result from the jumbled mess that is the ACC. No one ever learns from the error of my ways, I’m stepping into the ass again.
Here it goes – Duke will upset North Carolina.
There is no earthly reason for this to happen. Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard remains sidelined, and the Tar Heels and Drake Maye, despite some inconsistencies this year, are still able to put together a big score. But it’s the Duke defense that will answer the bell this week. After a great first half of the season, this team has not been at its best in its last few games. But with a few extra days of preparation, they will come out much stronger on Saturday, bending sometimes but not breaking. They will also get breaks thanks to UNC’s leaky front that will allow Duke to move the chains across the ground game. – Eddie Temanos
Penn State beats Michigan
While I’m not entirely sure how Penn State plans to score against one of the best defenses in the country, all the turmoil going on at Michigan is bound to catch up with this team sooner or later. So why not go on the road against an opponent with great talent? History suggests this is a bad choice because Penn State under James Franklin doesn’t outperform Michigan (or Ohio State) when Michigan is good. We’ve seen that over and over again with this team. But Michigan was allowed to play the first nine games of the year against very poor competition, and although the Wolverines are excellent on both sides of the ball, there will likely be some competitive atrophy due to a team never playing well. It’s quite strange that it’s this late in the season and Michigan is finally getting a test. Presumably without the benefit of Connor Stallions inside information on Penn State’s marks, this would be a surprise to the Nittany Lions. –Dan Wolken