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Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Pick & Prediction SEPTEMBER 24th 2022

Logo Central Michigan Chippewas
Logo Penn State Nittany Lions

60.5o -105
-28 -110



After an eye-opening performance on the road, the big question for No. 14 Penn State is how much of an emotional letdown there may be.

The Nittany Lions (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) turned in one of the most impressive performances of the young season last week with a 41-12 road win at SEC foe Auburn, but now must refocus for a game against a Group of Five opponent when Central Michigan visits University Park, Pa., for a noon kickoff on Saturday.

Of all the things that stood out for Penn State in the win at Auburn, maybe the most noticeable was the way the Nittany Lions ran the ball.

Penn State struggled with its offensive line play and running game last year, but completely controlled Auburn's defensive line, rushing for 245 yards on 6.3 per carry.

True freshman Nicholas Singleton was the biggest beneficiary of Penn State's improved line play, rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

Freshman Kaytron Allen, sophomore Keyvone Lee and junior Devyn Ford have flanked Singleton in what is a deep group of running backs for Penn State.

"We're getting better up front and at tight end," Penn State head coach James Franklin said after the game. "We're doing some things speed-wise to help them. The ability to be more balanced and take pressure off the passing game, I think it's been really important for us. We also have some dynamic backs that help create some explosive plays."

Penn State's offense has averaged more than 40 points a game to start the season.

Singleton has already rushed for 334 yards and four touchdowns, while quarterback Sean Clifford has completed nearly 64 percent of his passes (53 of 83) for 673 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.

After allowing 31 points in a season-opening win at Purdue, Penn State's defense has allowed 22 points combined in the last two games.

The Nittany Lions now turn their attention to what will be their final nonconference game of the season before returning to Big Ten play.

Central Michigan comes in at 1-2 following a 41-0 home win over FCS opponent Bucknell on Saturday.

The Chippewas started the season with a 58-44 road loss at Oklahoma State before losing at home to South Alabama, 38-24.

As is the case with Penn State, this will be Central Michigan's last nonconference game before it gets into Mid-American Conference action.

Offensively, Central Michigan can be potent behind running back Lew Nichols, who rushed for 1,848 yards last year and has 258 yards and five touchdowns so far in 2022.

Quarterback Daniel Richardson is a dual-threat signal caller who so far this season is 73-of-127 passing for 889 yards, seven touchdowns and two picks.

"When you get it, enjoy it, reflect on it," Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain said after his team beat Bucknell. "Make sure you really know what that feeling is and hopefully it becomes contagious moving forward."

This is only the second meeting between the Nittany Lions and Chippewas all-time. Penn State won the only other meeting in 2005 by a score of 40-3.

--Field Level Media

Central Michigan Chippewas
Penn State Nittany Lions

Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Recap SEP 24TH 2022

Sean Clifford went 22-of-34 passing for 217 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns to lead No. 14 Penn State to a 33-14 home win over Central Michigan on Saturday in University Park, Pa.

Clifford threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, while Kaytron Allen rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries for Penn State (4-0).

Daniel Richardson was 26-of-45 passing for 235 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in defeat for Central Michigan (1-3), which committed four turnovers and had two touchdowns called back because of penalties.

Central Michigan gained 363 yards to 403 for Penn State but was hampered by eight penalties for 80 yards.

Penn State got off to a great start, taking a 14-0 lead not even nine minutes into the game.

The Nittany Lions took a 7-0 lead with 8:42 remaining in the first quarter on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Clifford to Mitchell Tinsley, then went up 14-0 on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Clifford to Brenton Strange with 6:38 left in the first.

But Central Michigan had an answer in the second quarter.

The Chippewas closed to within 14-7 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Richardson to Finn Hogan with 12:39 left in the second quarter.

Central Michigan then tied the game at 14-14 with 6:25 remaining in the second after a 14-yard touchdown pass from Richardson to Joel Wilson.

Penn State got back on track with 1:58 to go in the second quarter, taking a 21-14 lead with 1:58 left until halftime on a 14-yard touchdown run by Allen.

With 11:55 left in the third quarter, Penn State took a 27-14 lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Clifford to Strange. The extra point was blocked.

The score remained that way until the fourth quarter, when Clifford scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give Penn State a 33-14 lead with 14:43 remaining after an unsuccessful 2-point pass.

--Field Level Media

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