Ahead of No. 10 Penn State’s massive Big Ten showdown against No. 3 Michigan on FOX’s “Big Noon Saturday,” the Nittany Lions posted a video on social media Wednesday featuring defensive players and coaches telling fans to fill up Beaver Stadium early and be loud, especially on Michigan third downs.
The video ended with defensive coordinator Manny Diaz giving that message to fans not with words — but with hand signals.
It’s an obvious reference to the big storyline overshadowing Michigan’s toughest on-field test of the season. The Wolverines are still entangled in a controversy surrounding now-former staffer Conor Stalions and his alleged efforts to either personally attend or have proxies attend future opponents’ games in order to record and decode those teams’ play signals.
Several coaches and administrators from Michigan’s Big Ten rivals have reportedly privately bashed the two-time defending conference champion, demanding commissioner Tony Petitti to step in and levy punishment on Michigan. Some, including Purdue head coach Ryan Walters and Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule, have called out Michigan publicly. The NCAA is unlikely to complete its investigation into the matter — and thus issue any punishments on their end — before the end of the season.
THE LATEST ON THE MICHIGAN SIGN-STEALING INVESTIGATION
Michigan, meanwhile, is already fighting any potential punishment from the Big Ten and trying to publicly downplay the egregiousness of Stalions’ actions, partly through accusing other schools in the conference — including archrival Ohio State — of sharing stolen signs that the Wolverines themselves used.
[Michigan vs. Penn State, Utah vs. Washington: What we’re watching in Week 11]
Penn State, meanwhile, can throw a wrench into Michigan’s hopes of reaching a third consecutive College Football Playoff by beating the Wolverines on Saturday. Coverage starts with “Big Noon Kickoff” live from Happy Valley at 10 a.m. ET Saturday on FOX and the FOX Sports App.
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