STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- First, the weather. Right now, the skies are mostly cloudy, but there a few breaks of blue. They're calling for some snow showers, but I don't think there will be much in terms of accumulation. It is cold, however, with a slight wind. Game time temps should be in the upper 20s. With the chill factor, it could feel like 15 degrees. I'm not sure how much the weather will affect the game. I'm sure both teams will side with their run games, which favors Penn State slightly.
The line is up to a surprising 15 1/2. If you're a gambler, it begs you to take the points and pick the Spartans. If I know one thing, it's that Vegas knows what it's doing. They want a lot of bets on Michigan State, because they're very confident the Lions will win big. I'm going with Vegas. MSU just isn't a great team. The Spartans are good, but who have they beaten? They've beaten the teams they were supposed to beat. They're not supposed to beat Penn State and they won't.
The key, as obvious as it sounds, is for the Lions to stop Javon Ringer. If the running back is held in check, quarterback Brian Hoyer will have to provide the offense, and I'm not sure he can. He did bring the Spartans back last year against the Lions' shaky defense. But that was then, as they say, and this is now. I'm predicting Aaron Maybin will tee off on Hoyer to the tune of two sacks. Tackle Jared Odrick will have another and so will linebacker Navorro Bowman.
On offense, if quarterback Daryll Clark can just keep his emotions in check and the turnovers to a minimum, the Lions should be able to grind out three touchdowns and a field goal. Evan Royster is going to have a big day. Book it: 20 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns and the Lions will have their Big Ten title, a trip to the Rose Bowl and a pretty good consolation prize after coughing up their national title hopes two weeks ago.
Prediction: Penn State 31, Michigan State 14