Penn State Nittany Lions vs Minnesota Golden Gophers: Predictions and Odds

How to Watch – Penn State vs Minnesota

Where: TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN

When: Saturday, November 9th at 12 pm EST

How (TV): ABC

Penn State Nittany Lions (Away)

Head Coach: James Franklin {All-Time: 77-36 | VAN, PSU}

Regular Season Record: 8-0

Having survived tests from ranked conference opponents Iowa and Michigan in previous weeks, the Penn State Nittany Lions will hit the road to take on one of the Big Ten’s biggest surprise teams of the year.

With the Gophers possessing the 20th ranked scoring offense in the country, and a rushing attack that averages 204.5 yards per game on the ground, PSU should expect a battle similar to their 28-21 win over Michigan.

With Ohio State still on the schedule, Penn State needs to clear this hurdle if they want to remain in the playoff conversation.

Speaking of schools from Michigan, the Nittany Lions were able to take down Michigan State prior to last week’s bye, beating the Spartans 28-7.

Quarterback Sean Clifford put up a pedestrian 189 yards in the air but also threw for four touchdowns.

Three of those scoring throws were hauled in by sophomore tight end Pat Freiermuth, while top wideout K.J. Hamler came up with the other one.

The Lions struggled to get the ball moving on the ground, as lead back Journey Brown could only muster 45 yards on 12 carries.

Penn State’s defense did their part to limit the Spartans to a single touchdown, with freshman defensive backs Marquis Wilson and Jaquan Brisker coming up with interceptions to help the cause.

Another young Lion made his mark, as redshirt freshman defensive end Jayson Oweh strip-sacked starting quarterback Brian Lewerke twice, with one of the fumbles being recovered by Penn State.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers (Home)

Head Coach: P.J. Fleck {All-Time: 50-35 | WMU, MINN}

Regular Season Record: 8-0

With their highest AP Poll ranking since the 2004 season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are off to one of their best starts in program history.

The Gophers are currently in first place in the Big Ten West Division, two games ahead of Iowa and arch-rival Wisconsin, putting them in position for their first Big Ten title game appearance.

Standing in their way is their first true test against Big Ten competition in Penn State, as Minnesota has faced just one Big Ten foe with a winning record this season (Illinois).

The Gophers continued their winning ways against another overmatched Big Ten opponent, toppling Maryland 52-10 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Minnesota was led by a strong rushing attack that put up 321 of their 498 yards on offense. Leading the ground game was redshirt senior running back Rodney Smith, who tallied 103 yards and a touchdown, while redshirt junior receiver Seth Green added two rushing touchdowns.

Minnesota’s defense did not have to do much against Maryland’s poor passing attack, which saw the Terrapins go through three different quarterbacks.

The Gopher secondary limited the Terps to just 79 yards in the air, picking off Tyrell Pigrome twice. One of those interceptions was returned 72 yards for a touchdown by redshirt junior cornerback, Coney Durr.

Penn State vs Minnesota All-Time Series

With the two schools being inter-divisional opponents, they do not play each other often, which explains why they have met just 14 times prior to Saturday’s game.

The Nittany Lions currently hold a 9-5 lead in the series, winning five of the last six meetings.

The last time both teams faced off against each other was back in 2016 when Penn State edged Minnesota 29-26 in an overtime thriller where Saquon Barkley scored the game-winning touchdown.

Minnesota’s last win in the series came in 2013 at home.

This will be the first time each team will face each other where both are ranked in the Top 25 and the first time since 2005 where Minnesota will be ranked against Penn State.

Penn State Roster Notes

Redshirt sophomore receiver Cam Sullivan-Brown is listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury.

Minnesota Roster Notes

Senior linebacker Kamal Martin is listed as a game-time decision as he recovers from a knee injury suffered against Rutgers.

Head-to-Head: K.J. Hamler (PSU) vs Antoine Winfield Jr. (MINN)

One matchup to keep an eye on in this game will be in the passing game, where Penn State’s top receiver in K.J. Hamler will see his fair share of targets from Sean Clifford. Hamler will have to compete for his targets with one of the Big Ten’s top cover men in Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr.

K.J. Hamler

Wide Receiver | 5-9, 176lb | IMG Academy (FL) | Pontiac, MI | Sophomore

Despite his diminutive stature at just five-foot-nine, K.J. Hamler has been a useful weapon for James Franklin’s offense.

With high school knee injuries in his rearview mirror, the Michigan native still possesses the breakneck speed that had 26 programs requesting his services.

Hamler can run more than go routes, however, as his elusiveness allows him to rip off big gains on screen passes and also gain separation with double moves on more advanced routes.

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Safety | 5-10, 205lb | The Woodlands HS | The Woodlands, TX | Redshirt Sophomore

Although injuries have kept him out of action for a good chunk of his college career thus far, Antoine Winfield Jr. has made the most of his playing time in the Twin Cities.

The son of an All-Pro corner, the apple did not fall far from the tree, as Winfield Jr. managed to crack the starting lineup as a freshman in 2016, a season where he collected his first of two career pick-sixes.

His ability to read and anticipate plays makes him a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks, as he has a knack for jumping routes.

Penn State at Minnesota – Game Odds

Find the latest odds for Penn State vs Minnesota below. The odds are provided by New Jersey sportsbooks bet365 NJ, DraftKings, and Caesars NJ.

Good luck! 

Money Line

SportsbookPenn StateMinnesota
bet365 NJ-245+205
DraftKings-250+200
Caesars NJ-265+225

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