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College Football 2018 Week 11 Preview
Friday, 2018 November 9 - 11:42 am
Michigan plays Rutgers; N.C. State plays Wake Forest; Penn State plays Wisconsin. Actually N.C. State already played on Thursday; oops.

Michigan at Rutgers, 3:30 PM BTN
Uh. Rutgers is still terrible at football, perhaps even more so than when Michigan beat them 78-0 two years ago. Do I even need to preview this game? If Michigan wins by less than 50 (the Vegas spread is currently 40) then it'll be a disappointment.

Prediction: Michigan 70, Rutgers 0. (Includes two defensive touchdowns.)

N.C. State vs. Wake Forest, Thursday
Uh, they already played this game. Spoiler alert: N.C. State had a disappointing loss. More on this in the recap article later. I would have predicted an NCSU victory.

Penn State vs. Wisconsin, 12:00 PM ABC
Early this season we might have seen this as a preview of the Big Ten championship game. Now both teams are probably out of the race and are trying to salvage disappointing seasons. Win, and both teams could conceivably still get a New Year's Day bowl; lose, and you might be struggling to avoid the Pinstripe Bowl.

So there's still a lot to play for. By now we see what both teams bring to the table: similar assets (talented QBs), similar deficiencies (weak spots on defense). So it should be a matter of coaching and execution.

I dunno, man. Wisconsin is reeling but they have the beef and the talent to dominate PSU's defensive line. But I'm not sure they have the personnel to stop Penn State's offense... provided that McSorley can bounce back from last week's pounding.

Penn State is favored by 9... that seems about right.

Prediction: Penn State 28, Wisconsin 19.

Games to Watch on TV
The Penn State game on ABC will be a good one at noon. But #10 Ohio State at #18 Michigan State on Fox might be better; it's certainly got higher stakes. I'll call this the Game of the Week.

At 3:30, Michigan plays Rutgers on BTN, and yes, you should still watch, Michigan fans, because to write off any game is a jinx. But keep an eye on #1 Alabama vs. #16 Mississippi State on CBS; maybe Alabama is in cruise control and will take their eye off the ball. Northwestern plays #21 Iowa on Fox in an important matchup.

Not very much worth watching on the evening slate. At 7:00, #5 Georgia plays #24 Auburn on ESPN, with no SEC implications but maybe a CFP one. At 7:30, #3 Notre Dame plays FSU without Ian Book, on NBC; an upset would be monumental. At 8:00, #2 Clemson plays a surprisingly solid #17 Boston College team on ABC. At 10:30, Cal takes on USC on the ESPN.
Permalink  1 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: sports


Comment #1 from Dan (Guest)
2018 Nov 11 - 1:12 pm : #
Hey Ken, thank you for the Penn State coverage this year! I tried to comment earlier but the captcha wasn't working. I'm glad that it's fixed.

You've been pretty fair and accurate with your analysis of PSU all season. A lot of our fans thought that having McSorley back and an experienced O-line would be enough to keep us in the hunt for the Big 10 title. But, I think the silent majority knew that losing 7 starters on D, most of our receivers and tight ends, and a generational talent at RB would make this more of a rebuilding season. For me, assuming we can beat Rutgers and Maryland, a 9-3 season will be just about what I expected, though I'll admit I didn't think it would be this painful.

There is hope for the future. Only 2 guys who played key roles on D will graduate. FR LB Micah Parsons and SO DE Yetur Gross-Matos will be household names by the time they leave Penn State for the NFL. On offense, McSorley is the only first-teamer who will graduate. That is of course a big loss, but Tommy Stevens has had some opportunities and shown that he can move the team with both his arm and his legs. Miles Sanders will be back, and hopefully KJ Hamler can show the rest of the receiving squad how to, you know, catch footballs.

My biggest concern is our head coach. James Franklin has proven to be a world class recruiter. But, nearly 5 years into his tenure, I'm still waiting to see a game - any game - where he out-coaches his counterpart. His in game adjustments are either non-existent or mind-numbingly stupid. His clock management skills have gotten worse instead of better, and he still hasn't learned how to finish games with 4th quarter leads. (I'm not giving him credit for yesterday because the Badgers simply had no passing threat at all.)

Well, sorry for the long comment. I guess I've been waiting all year for it. Thank you again for the PSU coverage! I've truly enjoyed it.

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