ESPN: PSU has 81% chance to beat M, 22% chance to beat OSU

Submitted by WichitanWolverine on October 1st, 2017 at 1:48 PM
Title pretty much sums it up. Saw that this morning on Sportscenter. This is according to the FPI algorithm. I guess the FPI doesn't account for the fact that we beat them by 39 last year while OSU lost to them. /disrespekt



October 1st, 2017 at 1:56 PM ^

Point taken, but I don't know if "completely" different teams is fair, considering that their entire offense is still based entirely around Barkley with McSorely chucking up prayers. Even Gesicki and Blacknall are still around. Poor line play is still very much an issue for them.

They were completely shut down by Michigan last year in a team based around dominant defensive line play, which seems to have continued into this year, and this year we appear to have upgraded in athleticism in a big way. This game doesn't scare me nearly as much as it seems that it scares most other Michigan fathful. I'm convinced that we have Franklin's number.


October 1st, 2017 at 2:18 PM ^

So far, it's been pretty hard to tell, considering that our quarterback play has been so subpar up to this point, with innumerable missed opportunities every game as a result.

At the same time, we have a new starter who has appeared to energize the offense in a big way to the tune of finishing three times as many redzone drives in one partial game as the previous starter had in three entire games, and we have a great deal of skill position talent. Penn State's defense also aren't exactly worldbeaters, as evidenced by this and last year.

I'd rather be up against the unit that an offense with similarly poor offensive line play scored 49 on than on the exact same offense that was able to score 10 on a very similar defense.


October 1st, 2017 at 2:38 PM ^

Their offense didn't come into its own and become what it is now until after we curb stomped them. If we played them at the end of the year it would have been a completely different game. Not saying we don't win, but I seriously doubt we beat them by 39.

Franklin is a garbage coach but going to Happy Valley, presumably at night, is a tough nut to crack. We don't even know what our offense is yet. O'Korn may be the guy or that could have just been a blip. Our D will keep us in the game but I haven't seen enough of the offense under O'Korn to feel comfortable saying they will be able to put enough points on the board.


October 1st, 2017 at 2:46 PM ^

I would put forth a different interpretation: Penn State is a high risk, high reward outfit that felt the pain of things not going their way that particular day due to going against the best defense that they saw all year, with many of their risky plays that they normally get away with favoring the defense as a result.

I think their so-called reputation as a "second half team" last year was also the result of their risky play. Go and watch the Pitt, Wisconsin and USC games, they were the same team all year, they just had a few more balls go their way, with certain quarters going their way more than others. Always explosive, always getting by by the skin of their teeth with risky playcalling.

McSorely is a fearless gunslinger who has great instincts and oftentimes even better luck. They're far from worldbeaters, and certainly not 81-19% favorites against Michigan, in my view.


October 1st, 2017 at 3:26 PM ^

Teams that could cover deep balls shut down their offense.  Which was basically us and OSU.  The other thing they have is Barkley doing Barkley things.  So you let him get his  but limit it to like 80-130 yards and take away everything else and then they die.  I figure even against us Barkley is good for 14, hold the rest of their offense to 10 and we can win.

I Like Burgers

October 1st, 2017 at 3:53 PM ^

Then what the hell are you talking about when it comes to “chuck and prayer” being their offense? They hardly do any of that. They are a zone read rushing team. McSorely has 56 carries on the season already. It’s hand off to Saquon, fake to Saquon and McSorely keeps it, or pass to Saquon. That’s the offense.


October 1st, 2017 at 4:07 PM ^

I would agree with you that it's less pronounced than it was last year, but to claim there's "hardly any of it" doesn't seem fair to me. Being in control defensively by playing juggernauts like Akron, Georgia State, and Indiana (largely thanks to turnovers on Indiana's part) have very much allowed them to play a less risky style of football, but against Iowa and Pitt, games where they couldn't rely solely on Barkley to win, I saw McScorely make a number of throws that I would question and describe as ill-advised, very much in the same vein of what we saw a year ago: risky. They even won the Iowa game on a throw that, an inch of difference would have led to it being an incompletion.

I will admit that every game that I've watched of theirs this year was more of the channel flipping variety, except for Iowa-Penn State and Indiana-Penn State which I watched fairly intently, so maybe it's a case of me picking out what I want to see, but based on what I've seen, that's the impression that I've gotten.

Steve in PA

October 1st, 2017 at 6:13 PM ^

Look at this statline from vs Indiana, probably the best team they've played so far.  Take away IU's 4 turnovers and that is a completely different game.  That most of the damage occurred at the hands of IU special teams makes me even more confident.


From ESPN...

1st Downs 19 20
3rd down efficiency 7-18 6-18
4th down efficiency 1-2 1-1
Total Yards 352 370
Passing 175 331
Comp-Att 15-32 24-37
Yards per pass 5.5 8.9
Interceptions thrown 1 1
Rushing 177 39
Rushing Attempts 47 37
Yards per rush 3.8 1.1
Penalties 2-20 2-7
Turnovers 4 1
Fumbles lost 3 0
Interceptions thrown 1 1
Possession 26:31 33:29

PSU had 1.1 yds/att vs the IU defense?  What will happen vs Don Brown?  Admittedly, I didn't watch the 2nd half, but 8.9 YPA passing looks a lot like "Chuck it Deep"



October 1st, 2017 at 11:44 PM ^

you could have seen that the longest pass completed was to the RB for 36 yards.  DaeSean Hamilton is their slot and led the team in receiving with 9 catches for 122 yards with the longest only a 25 yard catch.  It wasn't at all chuck it deep.  Pretty efficient, balanced passing game, actually.

Also, PSU was up 28-0 (!!!!!) after the first quarter, so if they went into a bit of a predictable, run-heavy, conservative gameplan after that (they did run it more than pass in the last three quarters), it would be understandable.

I do think our front seven are going to be dominant, and Barkley will be bottled up pretty well on the ground, but they'll break one or two read options correctly and hit a screen to Barkley. 

I think they'll need help from TOs and/or special teams to get to 20. Major question mark whether we can do better than that against an improved defense playing at home at night. Should be a fun one though.


October 1st, 2017 at 3:27 PM ^

But I was referring to their comments in both the preview and game reaction threads. Being the asshole with no social life that I am, I was looking forward to reading some meltdowns and threats of violence and was pretty disappointed in what I found.

Ecky Pting

October 1st, 2017 at 4:05 PM ^

Just keep this in mind that for ANY prediction for the scoring margin of single college football game:

"The standard deviation ... is 15.5 points. That means that if a game shows a spread for your favorite team of -3 points, the outcome could be with high confidence within plus or minus 2 standard deviations of the point estimate, which is -3 ± 31 points in this case. So your favorite team could win by 34 points, or lose by 28!"

The quality of the FPI model is in its accuracy in terms of statistical variance from actual scoring margins collected over a large sample size. Suffice it to say that a sample of one is about as small as samples come.


October 2nd, 2017 at 12:39 AM ^

it means that there is a 95 percent chance that your team will win by 34 or fewer points or lose by 28 or fewer.

There is of course some probably the margin is outside that range, and if the SD is 15.5 and it is normally distributed, there's a 5 percent chance it's outside that margin.

So yeah, randomness, wooo!


October 1st, 2017 at 1:51 PM ^

Not sure if it takes into account Michigan playing PSU at PSU at night, and PSU playing OSU at OSU.  Just look at last weeks Iowa vs this weeks Iowa performance to see the impact of away night games on a team.