Gophers, No. 16 Penn State both trying to get back on track

The Associated Press

Minnesota (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) at No. 16 Penn State (5-1, 2-1), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

Line: Penn State by 4, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Penn State leads 9-6.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Minnesota will enter a raucous Beaver Stadium “White Out” looking to get back into the Big Ten West race and avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2018. Penn State was pushed all over the field by No. 4 Michigan a week ago and can’t afford to lose any more ground in the East with No. 2 Ohio State visiting next week.

Michigan rolls over Penn State, 41-17

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford (14) throws against Michigan in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

KEY MATCHUP

Minnesota running game vs. Penn State front seven. Mohamed Ibrahim leads the nation with 14 consecutive 100-yard games and will be counted on heavily against a Nittany Lions defense that surrendered 418 rushing yards to Michigan. Ibrahim's role is magnified even more if QB Tanner Morgan can't play after taking a hit to the head against Illinois last week.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Minnesota: WR Daniel Jackson. The Gophers completed six passes last week, and only one went to a wide receiver, Jackson. The third-year player is the only Gopher with multiple touchdown receptions and will need to help the Gophers balance their offense with some long gains through the air whether or not Morgan is cleared to play.

Penn State: RB Kaytron Allen. Though he hasn't gotten the same spotlight as fellow true freshman Nick Singleton, Allen has been the more consistent back in traffic with his patient running style. He’s also got two touchdowns in the last three games.

FACTS & FIGURES

Penn State QB Sean Clifford surpassed 10,000 total career yards last week and now has 10,027, with 8,989 passing and 1,038 rushing. … Opponents are completing just 51.6% of their passes against Penn State. … WR Parker Washington has caught a pass in all 28 games he’s played in for Penn State. … Minnesota has lost 11 straight road games against ranked teams. Its last such victory was at Nebraska on Nov. 22, 2014. ... This is the first time in six years the Gophers will play consecutive road games against ranked teams. ... The Gophers are fourth in the FBS in scoring defense (11.6 ppg) and sixth in total defense (263.7 ypg).