Penn State men’s football travels to East Lansing for the crucial Big Ten game against Michigan State | Penn State Men’s Football News
Penn State will travel to East Lansing for a major road game against Michigan State on Friday.
The Nittany Lions suffered a heavy loss to Princeton, a game in which the blues and whites never found the end of the net en route to a 1-0 defeat.
With a schedule that saw many early home games for Penn State, the team is now entering the difficult part of their schedule, with five of the remaining eight games taking place on opposing territory.
Those eight games are all but one Big Ten matchup that gives the Nittany Lions the chance to end the season strong and enter the Big Ten tournament.
It all starts with the game against Michigan State on Friday, where the blue-whites seek rematch.
Last season, the Spartans beat Penn State 1-0, giving the Nittany Lions their only regular season loss.
Even though it wasn’t a full season, the team will still try to avenge their loss on Friday.
So far this season Michigan State has allowed a Big Ten with 17 goals in just nine games, the equivalent of nearly two goals per game.
Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions have shared the leadership of the Big Ten in goals scored with Maryland. However, the Terrapins have played one more game than the blue-whites.
Based on these stats, this game could be an excellent opportunity for Penn State to recover from their recent shutout loss and show off their offensive skills.
Michigan State, on the flip side, is right behind the Nittany Lions, who are second in the Big Ten, on 13 goals.
Striker Liam Butts (7) hits opposing midfielder Deng Deng Kur (24) for possession after he was kicked off the sideline during the Penn State men’s soccer game against Northwestern at Jeffrey Fields on Friday, September 17, 2021. Penn State beats Northwest 2-1.
Step # 1 for Penn State in slowing Michigan State offense will keep senior striker Farai Mutatu at bay.
Mutatu is in the Big Ten lead on goals scored with Penn State second striker Peter Mangione.
Mutatu also leads the Big Ten in shots and shots on goal and shows that he is an offensive attacker who can fire his shot dangerously at many points on the pitch.
Mutatu isn’t the only Spartan who can change the course of the game, however.
Senior midfielder Jack Beck leads the Big Ten with six assists, two more than Rutgers’ Thomas DeVizio, who comes in second.
Mutatu and Beck are likely to put pressure on Penn State’s defense, but the Nittany Lions would benefit from keeping the ball at the feet of their top three goalscorers for the blues and whites – Mangione, junior midfielder Andrew Privett and junior striker Liam Butts.
So far, the two Big Ten squads have no common opponents, despite Michigan State having played both Akron and Indiana, two teams Penn State has on their schedule.
Michigan State lost 2-1 to Akron and 1-0 to Indiana, both played in East Lansing.
The Spartans have not shown a dominant home advantage this season and have only achieved 3: 3 in their six home games so far.
Right now Penn State hasn’t been great outside of Jeffrey Field, going 2-1 in their three street games of the season.
This could pose a problem for the Nittany Lions when they reach the second half of their season given the number and difficulty of their remaining street games.
Friday’s matchup against the Spartans starts at 7pm at DeMartin Stadium and the game could prove to be an offensive clinic for both sides in East Lansing.
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