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Michigan football prepares for challenges presented by Penn State

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The Wolverines have a tough matchup ahead in Happy Valley.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines travel to State College this weekend to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. Michigan is going to have its hands full, despite Penn State not being ranked, and coming out with a victory is going to be no easy task.

The Wolverines know that, and they’re getting ready. One player in particular who will be difficult to handle is wide receiver Jahan Dotson, who has 932 yards receiving and nine touchdowns this season.

“He’s a good receiver,” defensive back Dax Hill told reporters on Tuesday. “Quick, shifty guy, all of them are pretty good receivers. Starts with practice, practicing like it’s a game. Scout team giving us a good look, and doing whatever we can to stop their passing game. That’s one of their strengths of the offense, the passing game, having good receivers. We really want to stop the passing this week.”

Another challenging aspect of this game for Michigan is the atmosphere. Beaver Stadium is a tough place to go into and get a win, and Michigan hasn’t been victorious there since 2015. Luckily for the Wolverines, Auburn came to town earlier this year and snatched up the night game White Out that Michigan has fallen victim to the last two trips they’ve taken to Happy Valley. This weekend’s game is at noon with a “helmet stripe” theme for the Nittany Lions, as they try to get the white out atmosphere without actually calling it a white out.

Nonetheless, the crowd will be loud and it will be a challenge for Michigan this weekend.

“Lifestyle on the road can be pretty crazy,” wide receiver Cornelius Johnson said. “We just want to make sure that we stay locked into our tips and reminders, and we’ve got a tough road game coming up in their building. It’s something that we’ve got to do as a team, come together. It’s just going to be us in rival territory. We’ve got to make sure we’re really keyed in throughout practice getting ready for that.”

The Wolverines did a good job of channeling the opponent crowd energy against Wisconsin and Nebraska, and they’ll need to do a good job of that against Penn State since Beaver Stadium is known as one of the toughest venues to play at in the Big Ten.

Michigan is up to No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings. A win on Saturday at Penn State puts Michigan one step closer to reaching their goals.