College Football
Preview
Penn State at Rutgers
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 17, 2018
Where: High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, New Jersey

Penn State's season took a turn for the worse when it was unable to get past the top teams in the Big Ten East division. The 15th-ranked Nittany Lions righted the ship a bit last week and will take aim at the division's doormat when they visit Rutgers on Saturday.

Behind 159 yards and a touchdown from junior running back Miles Sanders, Penn State picked up a 22-10 win over Wisconsin last Saturday, bouncing back from a 2-3 stretch that included blown fourth-quarter leads against Ohio State and Michigan State and a blowout loss at Michigan. "I think obviously we were doing a pretty good job at [improving] early in the season and then we hit some adversity like a lot of programs do all over the country," Nittany Lions coach James Franklin said at his weekly teleconference. "I think we're headed back in that direction again, so I'm pleased with that." The Scarlet Knights are one defeat away from their second 10-loss season in three years under head coach Chris Ash. They've lost nine in a row since opening the year with a victory over Texas State, falling 42-7 against Michigan last weekend.

TV: Noon ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Penn State -28

ABOUT PENN STATE (7-3, 4-3 Big Ten): Senior quarterback Trace McSorley rebounded from a dismal game against the Wolverines to complete 19-of-25 passes for 160 yards and a TD against Wisconsin while tying the school record with his 29th victory as a starter under center. Sanders had an average of 70.6 yards during the team's 2-3 swoon but used his elusiveness to average 6.9 yards per carry in the win, recording the 26th 1,000-yard season in school history. "People may say that at times (Sanders) had been frustrated, but you never saw that," Franklin said Saturday in regards to the running back's decline in carries and yards. "Would we love to rush for more yards week in and week out? No doubt about it."

ABOUT RUTGERS (1-9, 0-7): The Scarlet Knights have been held to 17 points or fewer throughout the nine-game slide and they rank last among FBS teams in scoring average (14.5). Quarterback Artur Sitkowski completed only eight passes for 40 yards against Michigan while fellow freshman Isaih Pacheco shined with a personal-best 142 rushing yards and the team's only score - an 80-yard run that forged a 7-7 tie late in the first quarter. "Every chance I get, I try to take advantage," Pacheco told reporters. "We don't have anything to lose. We've just got to keep fighting, keep going, and we're going to get somewhere."

EXTRA POINTS

1. McSorley threw for two TDs and ran for another in a 35-6 win over Rutgers last season, Penn State's 11th straight victory in the series.

2. Nittany Lions DE Yetur Gross-Matos has six of his eight sacks over the last four games.

3. Scarlet Knights RB Raheem Blackshear has 21 carries and 13 catches over the last two games, producing 257 total yards and a TD in that span.

PREDICTION: Penn State 42, Rutgers 13
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Penn State 7-3 W1 35.7 23.0 4-2 3-1 5-2 0-0 4-3
Rutgers 1-9 L9 14.5 34.3 1-5 0-4 0-0 0-0 0-7
Last Meeting
Penn State Rutgers
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/11/17 RUTG 6 PSU 35 304 90 214 218 175 43
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Penn State T. McSorley 76.2 214 2 0
Rutgers G. Rescigno 35.0 43 0 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Penn State T. McSorley 13 44 3.4 1
Rutgers R. Martin 11 71 6.5 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Penn State J. Johnson 5 78 15.6 0
Rutgers N. Griffin-Stewart 2 19 9.5 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Penn State S. Barkley 2
Rutgers R. Abdulaziz 0
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Penn State T. McSorley 54.4 1872 13 5
Rutgers A. Sitkowski 49.4 1140 4 16
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Penn State M. Sanders 166 1007 6.1 9
Rutgers R. Blackshear 111 478 4.3 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Penn State K. Hamler 34 553 16.3 5
Rutgers R. Blackshear 40 332 8.3 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Penn State T. McSorley 9
Rutgers J. Hilliman 6
Quickchart Matchup
Penn State Penn State Off vs  Rutgers Rutgers Def
Penn State 420.5 yards
Rutgers 418.6 yards
Penn State 5.2 yards/rush
Rutgers 5.6 yards/rush
Penn State 7.6 yards/attempt
Rutgers 6.9 yards/attempt
Rutgers Rutgers Off vs  Penn State Penn State Def
Rutgers 274.4 yards
Penn State 376.6 yards
Rutgers 4 yards/rush
Penn State 4.2 yards/rush
Rutgers 4.5 yards/attempt
Penn State 5.5 yards/attempt