There’s plenty of great college football on during week ten, but one matchup has something that the others don’t; High-powered quarterback play. The Michigan versus Penn State rivalry will reignite once again for the 2018 season this week as the No. 5 ranked Wolverines travel to Pennsylvania to take on the No. 14 Nittany Lions.
Michigan is no stranger to Penn State quarterback, Trace McSorley. So, this could very well be just another game to the senior quarterback, despite coming in as underdogs. The situation is different for Wolverines’ quarterback Shea Patterson, though. As for the last two years, Patterson was playing in the SEC for the Ole Miss Rebels.
Now that Patterson is with Michigan, he will experience the Michigan versus Penn State rivalry for the first time. And we would be lying if we said that Patterson wasn’t a big reason as to why the Wolverines are the favorites this time around. That’s no reason to sleep on the Nittany Lions, though. This game could very well turn into a shootout early on.
The Defenses Acknowledge the Circumstances
All week long, defensive players and coaches of Michigan and Penn State went back and forth with compliments towards their offensive opponents. Penn State realized that they are going against a gamer in Patterson, and Michigan realized that they could potentially have their hands full with McSorley, who has been a playmaker all throughout the year.
The question is though, which quarterback has the edge in Saturday’s matchup? If you look at the stat sheets, their numbers are almost identical. McSorley has thrown for 1,628 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. Patterson, on the other hand, threw for 1,523 yards, with 12 touchdowns to only three interceptions.
Who Has the Edge?
So after looking at the stats, we can assume that these two quarterbacks are neck-and-neck then, right? Wrong. Since this is college football, the quarterback’s have to be versatile to a certain extent. That’s not to say that quarterbacks have to be labeled as a dual-threat, but they do have to be somewhat mobile, in order to extend plays. McSorley has proven himself to be a threat not only in the air but on the ground as well.
Through nine games, McSorley has rushed 110 times for 617 yards, and nine touchdowns. Penn State has scored a total of 42 offensive touchdowns this season, and McSorley has been responsible for 21 of them. Knowing that Michigan tends to struggle with a scrambling quarterback, they are expected to stay on their toes and ready for McSorley’s attack.
Patterson doesn’t precisely issue the same threat as McSorley. Although he has a rather impressive completion percentage of 66.8, he will have to beat Penn State’s defense almost strictly through the air. Michigan might be the favorite team for the afternoon, but if it comes down to a quarterback showdown, McSorley might have the edge. And Michigan may know that from playing against him over the last few seasons.
Source: Heavy Sports