A huge Big Ten game with conference title implications will take place on Saturday at noon as #6 Michigan Wolverines go into East Lansing to take on the #24 Michigan State Spartans. The Wolverines have been on cruise control throughout this season after their season-opening loss to Notre Dame. Michigan State has struggled a little throughout the season but got back on track last week with a huge win over #8 Penn State.
That win pushed them back into the polls. This game is going to be a battle as both teams have so much hatred for one another and because there is just so much riding on this game. The early line shows Michigan being seven-point favorites on the road.
Wolverines Seeking Huge Road Win
Last week, Michigan easily dispatched the former #15 team in the nation, Wisconsin. They easily handled the Badgers en route to a 38-13 win. This year Michigan has been untouchable besides in the first game of the season. They are scoring 38.1 points a game and allowing just 15.4 points a game. They have one of the best defenses in the entire nation as evidenced by giving up just 238 yards on defense a game.
The offense in comparison has gained an average of 424 yards a game. Shea Patterson has performed very well so far from the quarterback position. He has thrown for 1,311 yards and 10 touchdowns while also throwing just three interceptions. Michigan has been running the ball very well this year in addition to passing the ball very efficiently. Karan Higdon leads the team in rushing yards with 687 yards on 120 attempts.
Higdon has found the end zone on six occasions as well. Felton Davis III has proved to be Patterson’s favorite target as he has hauled in 31 receptions and four touchdowns. Michigan is running like a well-oiled machine and it’s tough to see anyone getting in their way this year.
Spartans Looking for Back to Back Upsets
Michigan State just pulled off a huge upset as they took down the Penn State Nittany Lions on the road. Penn State was ranked 8that the time of the game but after a 21-17 defeat that will be no more. Michigan State is a very tough-nosed defensive team this year and they only score 26.2 points a game while giving up 394.5. They have struggled in two games this year as they have fallen to BYU and Northwestern.
When Michigan State is playing the type of football that they want to play they are tough to beat but sometimes teams can knock them off their game. Brian Lewerke has thrown for 1,587 yards and eight touchdowns but he has also thrown seven interceptions. Lewerke really needs to improve his decision making, especially with a defense like Michigan coming up. Cameron Heyward has run for 191 yards and three touchdowns so far on the year, but 14 different players have rushed for the Spartans and six have rushed for a touchdown or more.
Wolverines Get Over Spartans Hump
I expect this to be a close game as Michigan will struggle early on and try to turn this into a game where they set the tone at the line of scrimmage. Michigan State lives on setting the line of scrimmage so this could be a duel for the first half or so. I fully expect Patterson to air it out and the Michigan defense to suffocate Michigan State in the second half. If Michigan State struggles early on and doesn’t score two or more touchdowns by the half, then they are going to be in big trouble. Take Michigan to take the win and cover the seven-point spread.