Penn State at Michigan State
Date: November 27, 2010
Time: Kickoff TBA
Location: Beaver Stadium.
Last meeting: 42-14 Penn State, 2009
All-time: 14-12-1 Penn State
2009 record: 6-7 (4-4 Big Ten)
The Land Grant Trophy battle heads back to Beaver Stadium. Will this be the game where Penn State wraps up a Big Ten Title and a place in the BCS Bowl game? Buy Penn State v Michigan State Tickets
Penn State v Michigan State Rivalry
Since Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993, the Nittany Lions and Spartans have played each other for the trophy in the last week of conference play. The trophy, designed by former Michigan State coach George Perles, features pictures of Penn State’s Old Main and Michigan State’s Beaumont Tower. Penn State has a 12-4 record in these trophy games and currently holds possession of the trophy after winning the 2008 and 2009 contest. Buy Penn State v Michigan State Tickets
Many had Penn State on upset alert entering its season finale against the Spartans last year, but the game was over before halftime after four first-half touchdowns from Clark.
This season, the Spartans are being widely looked at as a sleeper in the Big Ten and could make another run at the Capital One Bowl. They return their offensive and defensive leaders (quarterback Kirk Cousins and linebacker Greg Jones) and Mark Dantonio seems to have the program, which has been notoriously inconsistent, heading in the right direction. Dantonio has led the Spartans to bowl games in all three of his seasons as coach after the Spartans failed to go bowling the previous three.
The Spartans plan on incorporating more of the 3-4 on defense this season, which should put incoming freshman William Gholston in position to pressure the quarterback as a rush outside linebacker. However, it will force the undersized Jones (6-foot-1, 228 pounds) to take on blockers more frequently.
This could be a game that will decide bowl positioning and it’s a rivalry game, so both teams will be motivated. This game could be the difference between a New Year’s Day bowl like the newly affiliated Gator Bowl and December’s Insight Bowl.
For the Lions to be successful, the quarterback – whoever it is – has to take advantage of a porous Spartan secondary. The Spartans ranked dead last in the Big Ten in pass defense last season, and with a full season under either Kevin Newsome or Matt McGloin’s belt, neither should have much trouble carving up the defense.