Monday Notebook: Lions Looking to Bounce Back at Home

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A sold out Beaver Stadium crowd clad in all white will greet the Nittany Lions on Saturday when they host No. 16 Michigan.

9306046.jpegWith the Indiana game in the rearview mirror, the resilient Lions return to the practice field on Monday afternoon solely focused on the Wolverines.

"I know the type of character guys we have on this team and it's not the type of guys that are going to let something like this ruin a season," said junior Miles Dieffenbach.  "We are going to be ready to go on Monday.  We are going to learn from our mistakes.  And we are going to be ready to go against Michigan."

The team is eager to see Nittany Nation filling Beaver Stadium under the lights on Saturday.

"It's a game we are really excited about," senior John Urschel said.  "We're going to watch the (Indiana) film, learn from it and then move on to preparing the best we can for Michigan."

Penn State and Michigan are among the most tradition-rich college football programs in America.  While the Big Ten season did not start in the manner Penn State had hoped, it's always an exciting week leading up to a night game against an elite opponent.

"All we can do is go back and get better this week," senior DaQuan Jones said.

The Lions and Wolverines have not played since the 2010 season.  Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. with TV coverage from ESPN.


- Robinson Among Top in Nation
Junior wide receiver Allen Robinson has been dominant in 2013.  Robinson hauled in a career-high 12 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns at Indiana on Saturday.  The Michigan native has now made 38 receptions for 621 yards and five touchdowns in five games this season.  Robinson ranks No. 7 in the nation in receiving yards and receiving yards per game (124.2), 12th in receptions per game (7.6) and 13th in receiving touchdowns.  He leads the Big Ten in receptions per game and receiving yards per game.  Robinson's 124.2-yard average per game is nearly 10 yards per game more than Wisconsin standout Jared Abbredaris, who is second in the conference.  The Nittany Lion junior is also averaging 16.3 yards per catch this season.

- Nittany Lions in the NCAA Stat Rankings
Penn State heads into the Big Ten home opener ranked among the nation's elite in several statistical categories.  The Nittany Lions are No. 6 in the nation in fewest penalty yards per game at 29.4.  Penn State ranks No. 10 nationally in first down defense (74 for the season).  The Lions are No. 13 nationally in red zone offense (94.4 percent).  Defensively, Penn State is No. 20 in rushing defense (111.4 ypg).  In addition to Robinson, individually, junior Zach Zwinak is ranked No. 5 in rushing touchdowns (8) and junior kicker Sam Ficken ranks No. 18 in field goals made per game (1.6).  Freshman Christian Hackenberg is leading the Big Ten in completions.

- Michigan Results

The 16th-ranked Michigan Wolverines enter the week with an unblemished record (5-0) following a 42-13 victory over Minnesota in the Big Ten opener on Saturday.  The Wolverines opened the season with a 59-9 rout of Central Michigan and a 41-30 victory over Notre Dame.  Michigan then edged UConn (28-24) on the road and Akron (24-21) before Big Ten play began.  The Wolverines field one of the nation's top rushing defenses.  Ranked No. 9 nationally, Michigan has allowed just 90.4 rushing yards per game this season.  As a team, the Wolverines are No. 13 in the nation in total defense (305.0 ypg).  Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner is No. 2 in the Big Ten in total offense.  Gardner accounts for 270.8 yards per game (1,036 passing and 318 rushing yards in 2013).


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