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Reply To: NCAA Week 13 • "Football Saturday" • Service Plays 11/28/15

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Penn St. at Michigan St. (-11) 3:30 ET ABC TV

Penn State +11

“With need, you bleed!” That is the theme for so many favored teams today, as they need a victory for either Bowl eligibility for a spot in a championship playoff game or for Final Four inclusion. The latter is such the case for this Michigan St. team. The Spartans must win this contest to earn their ticket to the Big 10 Championship game next week against Iowa. That does not mean they need to do so by a double digit margin, nor is a 100% emotional effort guaranteed after the Spartans’ massive upset win over Ohio St. last week that knocked the Buckeyes from the ranks of the unbeaten. That win came without starting QB Cook (shoulder). It came rather as a result of a running game (outrushed the Buckeyes 203-86) and a defense that allowed Ohio St. just 132 total yards in the shocking (17-14) win as 14 point underdog. Lest you doubt the Spartans are for real, consider the 34-4 SU record in the last 3 seasons. Should QB Cook fail to make post, QB Terry will again be in his place. Penn St. enters with great hunger off consecutive losses and with (34-10) revenge. Last week, the Lions suffered a LHG defeat to Michigan (28-16). The prior game, it was a heartbreaking (23-21) last second loss at Northwestern. In the loss to the Spartans last year, Penn St. was far more competitive than the final score, losing the yardage battle only 298-233. Combined with the Penn St. motivation is the Lions’ near Super D status which finds them allowing just 19 PPG, only 315 YPG and just 4.6 YP play. Along with their emotional edge in this game, it should be enough for the Nittany Lions to keep this game within the double digit impost.