A week after an emotionally and physically draining loss to Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State has little time to dwell on its first defeat of the season, as the Nittany Lions must now travel to East Lansing to take on No. 24 Michigan State in another massive Big Ten matchup.
Kickoff is scheduled for Noon ET and will be broadcast on Fox. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch Fox online, on your phone or on another streaming device via one of the following over-the-top, cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch the game for free if you’re in a select market:
FuboTV: Fox (live in 70-plus markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. It costs $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that, but it comes with a free 7-day trial. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
DirecTV Now: Fox (live in 39 markets) is included in all four channel packages. They range from $35 to $70 per month, but it comes with a free 7-day trial. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: Fox (live in 17 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. It costs $25 per month, but it comes with a free 7-day trial. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
Ohio State’s win over Penn State last week put them in full control of the Big Ten East at 5-0 in the conference, but the Buckeyes still have trips to Iowa and Michigan, as well as a home matchup against Michigan State, so the conference is still very much up for grabs. As such, with the Nittany Lions and Spartans still having just one Big Ten defeat each, this remains a matchup with significant implications.
Penn State is making sure that message is clear even after last week’s disappointing result.
“We just felt like there were some things we had to get off our chest, making sure the mentality of the team was the same,” said linebacker Jason Cabinda after calling a team meeting on Sunday. “Be sure that we were (all) still taking the same approach. Knowing there’s a ton of football left and a lot still left to be accomplished. We’re kind of just reiterating those things, really.”
For the Nittany Lions, the key to this game will be getting the run game going with Saquon Barkley. The Heisman candidate and potential No. 1 pick made his mark last week with a 97-yard kickoff return and another 36-yard touchdown run, but he was unusually kept in check for the rest of the game, tallying just 20 yards on his other eight carries and 23 yards on four receptions.
“We need to be more explosive,” said head coach James Franklin. “That game we were not explosive. We didn’t have the big plays we had in the past that, over the last two years, has been kind of our eraser for some of our issues.”
Things won’t get much easier this week, as the Spartans rank fourth in the country in yards per rush allowed (2.8) and rushing yards per game allowed (89.9).
And Mark Dantonio’s team will likely need that defense to stay in the game. They rank 79th in America in yards per play (5.2), 95th in points per game (23.8) and 72nd in giveaways per game (1.6). Moving the ball against a Penn State defense that struggled last week but has overall been stout this season could be difficult for the Spartans, meaning they’ll hope to keep this a low-scoring, grind-it-out contest.
Ultimately, it’s an intriguing matchup, but oddsmakers believe strongly in Penn State’s ability to bounce back from last week’s defeat, favoring the Nittany Lions by nine points on the road.