Both Michigan and Penn State are struggling in major fashion this season.
The Wolverines are 2-3 on the season, while the Nittany Lions are 0-5. Michigan and Penn State are scheduled to play each other this weekend.
FOX Sports 1 college football analyst Joel Klatt discussed the two programs this week. He believes Michigan and Penn State have the same main issue this season: defense.
“I think there is a common thread between the struggles of these two programs,” Klatt said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, via 247Sports. “And the struggle, at least in my estimation, has been on the defensive side. These two teams have played great defense over the last three years. These have been top five Big Ten defenses, top 10 in the country over the last three years. And now they’re sitting at 101st tied, giving up 36 points per game. That’s a problem, that is a huge problem.”
While the two programs share the same issue this season, Klatt believes the problems are deeper at Michigan.
“For Michigan I think it’s a deeper problem than what Penn State’s is and the reason is that you can point to Micah Parsons not being on the field for Penn State,” Klatt said. “I think he’s the best defensive player in college football or would have been this year. Him not being out there is a drastic blow for Penn State. Meanwhile, Michigan … they just don’t have the corners. They’re not getting to the quarterback and they don’t have the corners to play like they have the last couple of years under Don Brown, who’s a very aggressive, man-coverage, blitzing-style of a defensive coordinator. And they’re just getting torched on the outside.
"Think about it: Rutgers scored more points on Saturday against Michigan than they had in their previous five meetings. I mean this is not even close for Michigan and I don’t know what the answer is. They’re recruiting really well, they’ve got a top 10 class coming in for 2021, but they need help on the outside and I don’t know where that fix is.”
Michigan and Penn State are scheduled to kick off at noon E.T. on Saturday.
The game will be on ABC.