Sean Clifford smiled when asked about Saturday’s matchup between No. 10 Penn State and No. 4 Michigan. The reasoning? The impact.

The Nittany Lions starting quarterback told reporters that games like the one in Week 7 are why players attend programs like Penn State. The SEC might have its high-profile matchups like Tennessee vs. Alabama or Georgia vs. Auburn, but the B1G isn’t slouching in terms of quality games.

The winner of Saturday’s showdown in Ann Arbor has more implications than just bragging rights. A win for the Nittany Lions gives them the edge over the Wolverines in a head-to-head matchup for the B1G East title.

On the other hand, a victory for the Wolverines all but guarantees that Michigan will remain ranked inside the top 5. The Wolverines are trying to continue to win before facing off against Ohio State in Columbus on Nov. 26.

Last season, Penn State played it close in a 21-17 loss at home. Clifford had one of his better outings, throwing for 205 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Jordan Stout made 3 field goals, including a 52-yard bomb in the 2nd quarter to take a 7-6 lead before halftime. 

Then Wolverines’ starting quarterback Cade McNamara connected with tight end Erick All for a 47-yard touchdown with just over 2 minutes remaining to make it a 4-point game in favor of Michigan. McNamara ended up throwing for 217 yards and 3 scores on his way to a 9-1 record.

Clifford said this past week, the message to the team was “take a day, but not the week” in terms of handling the bye week. Setting the mind and body right for Saturday was a top priority for the program, meaning whatever it takes to get locked in for practice needed to unfold.

Kickoff from The Big House is set for Noon E.T. on FOX.