Looking for a Minnesota vs. Penn State preview? Stick around. We’ve got all of the pre-game analysis before the Big Ten battle.
Saturday, October 1, the Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-0) take on the Penn State Nittany Lions (2-2) in a crucial Big Ten matchup. The game will be played at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA, and will be broadcast on Big Ten Network. Read on for our Minnesota vs. Penn State preview.
According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, which is based on its Football Power Index, Penn State wins the matchup between the two teams 72.4% of the time. The spread also suggests that the Lions are the favorite to win the contest.
Spread: Penn State -3
Game Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Channel: Big Ten Network
Minnesota vs. Penn State preview:
Minnesota is coming off a solid 31-24 home-win against Colorado State, a game in which the Gophers were able to rush for 243 yards. They also rushed for 292 the week before against Indiana State, which is all to say that Minnesota's strength is in its running game. Expect them to run, run and run some more with RB Rodney Smith and dual-threat QB Mitch Leidner against a Penn State team that has given up over 300 yards on the ground twice already this season.
Penn State enters the matchup looking for some redemption after being ground into dust last week by a ruthless Michigan team, 49-10, a loss in which the Lions finished with an anemic 191 total yards on offense. Penn State has an opportunity to put some points on the board against a suspect Minnesota defense that has given up at least 23 points a game this year. The Lions have enough talent across the board, it's up to them to get it done.
The last time these two faced off, the Golden Gophers took the win, 24-10 (which interestingly enough was the largest margin of victory in the series) in 2013. Penn State is 8-5 against the Gophers, historically.
Minnesota vs. Penn State prediction:
These two teams have a knack for close games, and this one's no different. The Golden Gophers squeak out a road win as the underdogs to keep their perfect schedule intact. Smith and Leidner both run all over a Penn State defense that amounts to little more than a revolving door, and the Minnesota defense manages to shut down QB Saquon Barkley and an offense that's forced to throw after going down early.
Minnesota 23, Penn State 20