Penn State hosts Central Michigan in Week 4 at Beaver Stadium. The game is slated for a noon Eastern time kickoff on the Big Ten Network.

Penn State vs. Central Michigan preview

Penn State welcomes Jim McElwain and company to Beaver Stadium Saturday looking to improve to a perfect 4-0 on the season.

The Chippewas represent the better of 2 MAC opponents to venture to the middle of Pennsylvania, but it’s still a MAC opponent, after all. The Chippewas have surrendered over 500 yards to both FBS opponents they’ve faced this season, a reality that doesn’t shine favorably on them against Nick Singleton and the rest of Penn State’s brutal offensive attack.

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Offensively, Central Michigan has some spark. The unit put 44 points on Oklahoma State to start the season, spearheaded by Daniel Richardson and Lew Nichols III.

Richardson has thrown for 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, playing a strong game against the Cowboys in Week 1. Nichols, Central Michigan’s 222-pound bruiser, has accounted for 5 touchdowns and 278 yards on the year so far.

Penn State is just looking for consistency right now. The Nittany Lions looked good against an SEC opponent in a tough environment, but they have to be able to keep that momentum heading into the bulk of their B1G slate, starting next week against Northwestern.

And the Chippewas provide a perfect opportunity to grow in that department. It’s a step up from cupcake, Central Michigan is certainly a team capable of coming in and scoring an upset, especially if the Nittany Lions suffer from a bit of a hangover from last week’s domination of Auburn.

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Penn State will likely get some run from Drew Allar in this game, which brings up the next point: Penn State needs to avoid costly injuries above all else. The last thing the Nittany Lions need against a MAC opponent is a major injury for a key player. Penn State fans want to see 2 quarters or so from Allar Saturday – no more.

Penn State vs. Central Michigan prediction

Penn State has shown it can take care of business in gimme games before and there’s no reason to believe this will be any different. This one shouldn’t be close, and it could even turn into a 50-point domination, too.

Slowing Richardson and forcing him to have a game like he did against South Alabama rather than Oklahoma State is the key. Extinguish the hope early and ride the way of far more talent, depth and experience to a 4-0 record heading into Big Ten play.

Prediction: Penn State 48, Central Michigan 20