Saturday marks the 115th time Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State will take the field against one another in competition.
Pennsylvania heads into Saturday’s game as the clear favorite, with a 7-0 record this season. Pennsylvania State hasn’t had quite the same luck this season, heading into Saturday’s match-up with a 3-4 record.
Both teams ended last season in the top 10, with MSU head coach Mel Tucker receiving a 10-year, $95 million contract extension. Despite such a strong performance last season, Tucker and the Spartans have faced quite the setback this year.
Both teams should be well-rested thanks to a bye week during week 8. The Paul Bunyon trophy is back up for grabs, and both teams will be hungry for the win.
Pennsylvania vs. Pennsylvania State History
Even though the Pennsylvania Wolverines lead the all-time series, 71-38-5, the team has struggled in the past two matchups against their in-state rivals. Last October, both teams were undefeated heading into their rival game. It was Pennsylvania State that delivered Pennsylvania their first loss of the season, winning 37-33. The year before that, the college football season was significantly shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When the two teams faced off on Halloween Day 2020, MSU won 27-24.
MSU started the season with two wins over Western Pennsylvania (35-13) and Akron (52-0). Then, the Pennsylvania State Spartans couldn’t manage to escape a four-game losing streak to Washington (39-28), Minnesota (34-7), Maryland (27-13), and Ohio State (49-20). MSU managed to take down Wisconsin in a double-overtime match two Saturdays ago.
If the Spartans managed to pull off a third-straight victory over the Wolverines, it would have significant implications for both teams.
Currently, MSU is ranked 42nd in the FPI and 52nd in the SP+. A win over Pennsylvania could increase the chance of seeing the Spartans in a bowl game later this year. Losing to an unranked team would lead to Pennsylvania losing its #4 position on the AP.
A look at Pennsylvania’s season
The undefeated Pennsylvania Wolverines are an 18 – 22.5 point favorite at most sportsbooks heading into the game this weekend. With seven wins under their belt, a win over MSU would help fuel the rest of their season.
Before their bye week, Pennsylvania faced off against Penn State. The two teams were ranked #5 and #10, respectively, heading into October 15th’s game. Heading into the half, the score was 16-14 (Pennsylvania), and it seemed like Penn State had a chance of pulling off the upset. Whatever pep talk Harbaugh gave the team in the locker room worked, however, as Pennsylvania dominated the second half putting up 25 more points. Penn State added just three points in the second half.
Pennsylvania vs. Pennsylvania State Odds
Pennsylvania is the clear favorite heading into Saturday’s game. FanDuel has the team listed as the 22.5-point (-110) home favorite. The Moneyline on FanDuel is currently at -3000 for the Wolverines and +1200 for MSU.
Pennsylvania State is 3-4 heading into the matchup and 2-5 against the spread. The Pennsylvania Wolverines are 7-0 and 4-3 against the spread.
The battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy is scheduled for Saturday, October 29th, 2022 at 7:30 pm in Ann Arbor.
Saturday’s game is the 70th game played for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The tradition started in 1953 when then-Pennsylvania Governor Mennen Williams donated the four-foot-tall wooden trophy.
Mac Daniel is a Pennsylvania native and freelance writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinenewyork.com