NCAA Football Game of the Week: Michigan Wolverines at Penn State Nittany Lions

Week eight of the college football season is upon us, and conference races are starting to heat up throughout the country. The Big Ten East Division looks like one of the toughest in the country, and there are still plenty of teams with a shot to win it. The Michigan Wolverines will be at the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday in a game that could go a long way toward deciding the division winner.

Penn State comes into this game as the 7th ranked team in the country, and they have their sights set on a College Football Playoff appearance. The Nittany Lions are 3-0 so far in Big Ten play, and upset Iowa on the road a week ago. Michigan already has a Big Ten loss on their resume this season, after getting pasted by Wisconsin a few weeks ago. The Wolverines have responded by winning three straight games, but this will be a tough task.Penn State is a -9.0 point favorite over Michigan in the NCAA Football Game of the Week.

Penn State Defense Has Been Elite

Penn State has struggled to score points at times this season, but their defense has bailed them out every single time. The Nittany Lions are allowing just 8.2 points per game so far this season, but they will be facing a tough offense in this game. Penn State has racked up 27 sacks already this season, and they will put plenty of pressure on Michigan in this game. Don't expect Penn State to keep Michigan under 10 points, but they aren't going to get gashed.

The Nittany Lions have four different players with over 200 rushing yards this season, and they will run the ball a ton in this game. Penn State is averaging over 190 rushing yards per game, and this game plan helps to keep their defense fresh. The Nittany Lions only scored 17 points in their most recent win, but that is usually enough to win with this defense.

Michigan Still Needs Patterson to Deliver

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson has plenty of talent, but he hasn't delivered a ton of big wins to his football team. Patterson has completed just 57 percent of his passes this season, and Michigan is averaging just 230 passing yards per game. The Wolverines have been able to run the ball well this season, but that could be a big challenge against Penn State.

The Michigan defense has been solid for most of the season, but they have shown some cracks at times. The Wolverines were gashed in their loss to Wisconsin, and gave up 35 points in that loss. Michigan also struggled a week ago against Illinois, allowing the Fighting Illini to score 25 unanswered points before sealing the game.

Michigan Keeps it Close, Penn State Wins

This should be a defensive slugfest, and neither team will likely score a ton of points in this game. That type of game definitely favors Penn State, but that should help the Michigan Wolverines stay in it. The Nittany Lions have been extremely impressive since start Big Ten play, and it's just too unlikely to see them lose at home in this game. Penn State is going to win this game, but Michigan will keep it close.Take the +9.0 points and bet on the Michigan Wolverines in this showdown against the Penn State Nittany Lions.