No. 8 Penn State looks to avoid repeat against Michigan St

Michigan State (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) at No. 8 Penn State (4-1, 1-1), 3:30 p.m. ET (BTN).

Line: Penn State by 13½.

Series record: Michigan State leads 16-15-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Last year Penn State followed up a loss to Ohio State with a last-second loss to Michigan State. The Nittany Lions look to avoid a repeat this year. It will help to be home this time. The Spartans can jump back into the Top 25 with a win after a road loss to Northwestern knocked them from the rankings.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan State’s pass rush vs. Penn State’s offensive line. The Spartans boast the nation’s top rushing defense, but have struggled mightily against the pass, primarily because they’re not generating pressure. QB Trace McSorley is one of the more accurate passers they’ll face and the dual-threat QB excels at sensing and avoiding the rush.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan State: DE Jacub Panasiuk is coming off his best game where he posted two tackles, two QB hurries and half a sack. He has the athleticism to play anywhere along the defensive front.

Penn State: RB Miles Sanders. There might not be many big holes to run through as the Spartans are allowing just 33.8 rushing yards per game. But Sanders is a patient runner who’ll need to find some daylight to keep his offense from becoming one dimensional.

FACTS & FIGURES

Penn State’s top WR KJ Hamler left the Ohio State game with an apparent head injury after taking a violent helmet-to-helmet hit but is expected to play. . Penn State DE Shane Simmons is expected to make his season debut after missing the first five games with an unspecified injury suffered in training camp. . McSorley has thrown a touchdown pass in 33-straight games, the longest active streak in FBS. . Michigan State is allowing 305 yards passing per game. . The Spartans have won four of the last five in the series. . Michigan State is 9-5 in its last 14 games against AP top-10 teams. . The Spartans haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in eight games.