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Penn State star wants to make “statement” vs. Michigan football

Tomorrow, Penn State is looking to make a statement against Michigan football, according to this Nittany Lion star player.



Michigan football looks to recover a Penn State fumble. James Franklin and Kalen King.
Nov 13, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) attempts to recover his fumble during the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

James Franklin is a fantastic football coach — there is no denying that — and what he has done with the Penn State football program since taking over a heavily sanctioned team back in 2014 is impressive, to say the least. With that out of the way, there is another simple truth that fans of all Big Ten schools have come to realize: the Nittany Lions, under Franklin, cannot seem to win big games. This weekend, against Michigan football, PSU star defensive back Kalen King says that it’s time for Penn State to make a “statement.”

Michigan football and Penn State to do battle tomorrow afternoon

Michigan football is ranked No. 3 in the nation right now and has the longest active Big Ten winning streak of any school — it dates back to October of 2021. This weekend, Michigan and No. 10 Penn State will do battle in Happy Valley for the first time since the Wolverines’ 21-17 victory over James Franklin & Co. in 2021, which led to Michigan’s first Big Ten title since 2004.

Nittany Lion star Kalen King says Michigan is a “statement game”

Under Franklin, Penn State is now 1-9 against Ohio State and 3-6 against Michigan. While the Nittany Lions have no trouble winding up in the top 10 with 11 wins and New Year’s Six Bowl wins quite often, Penn State has demons in big games that seem to be keeping it out of the College Football Playoff and Big Ten title game — demons that Kalen King and his teammates are looking to defeat this weekend.

“A lot of people around the country believe that Penn State is unable to take the next step,” cornerback Kalen King said ahead of this weekend’s game. “I feel like this game is a perfect opportunity for us to go out and prove ourselves against a powerhouse team like Michigan.

“… I definitely think this is a statement game for us,” King added .“And I’m definitely looking forward to being out there with my guys.”

Can James Franklin and Penn State take next step with upset win against Michigan?

Penn State already has a loss — PSU lost to Ohio State 20-12 last month — so the Nittany Lions are effectively eliminated from CFP and Big Ten title contention if they drop one more game. On the other hand, Michigan football is 9-0 right now, and despite looking the part every weekend, the Wolverines have not really seen any stout competition yet.

Tomorrow’s game will be a crucial test for both Michigan football and Penn State, though make no mistake — Penn State and Kalen King are coming in with their backs against the wall and an upset on their minds. If the Wolverines aren’t careful, and more importantly, don’t bring their A-game, Michigan will be the Nittany Lions’ “statement” to the world of college football.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.