Penn State prepares to take on Michigan State in final game of the season

Penn State prepares to take on Michigan State in final game of the season

The Nittany Lions (7-4, 4-3) are gearing up to battle against the Michigan State Spartans (10-1, 6-1) at Michigan State this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. After a heartbreaking loss to the University of Michigan at home last week, Penn State could not be hungrier for a win to round out a strong 2015 regular season.

This game will decide who can claim a winning record against whom as the pair are currently 14-14-1 in their all-time game record against each other. In 2014, Penn State suffered a 34-10 loss against Michigan State, but as recently as 2009, Penn State crushed Michigan State in a 42-14 trouncing. A win is most certainly in the cards for the Nittany Lions this weekend.

“A tremendous opportunity for us… An experienced football team, a talented football team, so it should be a tremendous challenge,” commented Head Coach James Franklin about the challenges awaiting the squad this weekend.

Michigan State is coming off of an exciting win at Ohio State last Saturday, beating OSU 17-14 late in the fourth quarter. Michigan State has a history of beating tough teams such as OSU and Michigan, but with MSU’s starting quarterback Connor Cook (Hinckley, Ohio) out with a shoulder injury for the last few games, MSU has had to compensate extra hard to earn those wins.

Wide receiver Geno Lewis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) noted that the goal for this week is simple: “The main thing is execution. We all have to go out there and do our jobs. Do what you’re supposed to do, play to the best of your ability and go out there and make plays and take advantage of your opportunities.”

Penn State has the unique opportunity to knock Michigan State out of the Big Ten Title race if the Nittany Lions notch a win against the Spartans this weekend. However, that is the last thing on players’ minds.

“We’re going to treat every game like it’s the same…I want to win this game really bad, not just to be the spoiler, but just to make happy…end the regular season on a good note,” said defensive tackle Austin Johnson (Galloway, N.J.).

This weekend also marks a contest of two of the most talked about quarterbacks in the big ten: Penn State’s own Christian Hackenberg (Palmyra, Va.) and MSU’s Connor Cook. Hackenberg has set a new record in passing yards (8,061) and touchdown passes (46) (among other statistics) whereas Cook is the winningest quarterback in Spartan history, with a 32-4 record.

“Christian is a great leader…He came in just when we needed somebody to step in the quarterback role…I think he’s going to be very successful from here on out,” said Lewis.

The competition between Penn State and Michigan State is sure to keep everyone at the edge of their seats this Saturday. This game is more than just a game, it is a final chance for our seniors to make their mark on Penn State Football and for them to go out with a bang. Let’s rally for one more regular season game and support the team from wherever in the country we are this holiday weekend.