Michigan vs. Michigan State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 20
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Michigan (6-1) vs. Michigan State (4-2) Game Preview
One Reason Why Michigan Will Win
Michigan State can’t run the ball. With all the various issues getting LJ Scott on the field, the Spartans have yet to pass the 165-yard mark, average just 3.4 yards per carry, and aren’t doing much of anything to control the game on the ground, only averaging four yards per carry in one game – the loss to Northwestern.
Michigan State has to throw to win. Brian Lewerke is guaranteed to throw at least one interception, but he’s been solid, hitting 60% of his passes and throwing for over 200 yards in every game but the win over Central Michigan.
Michigan doesn’t let anyone throw.
The run defense is good, but it can be pushed a bit. For all of Wisconsin’s issues last week in the 38-13 loss, Jonathan Taylor still passed 100 yards. But Alex Hornibrook was awful, failing to complete a pass over the second and third quarters, and finishing with 100 yards for the game.
The Wolverine pass D is the best in the nation, giving up over 200 yards to SMU along with three scores – no one else has passed for more than 175 yards and the only other touchdown passes allowed came on a minor miracle Brandon Wimbush throw against Notre Dame and a garbage time late play by Hornibrook.
The Michigan State offense might not go anywhere.
One Reason Why Michigan State Will Win
In … their … heads.
Oh sure, that beatdown of Wisconsin was cute, but it got caught up in the wash of a crazy week loaded with upsets and insane games.
Losing to Ohio State stinks, but even the most irrational of Wolverine fan can figure out that it’s not that unforgivable to lose to one of the three best teams in college football over the last several years.
But lose to Little Brother? Ohhhhh, no. That’s just not okay, and – to mix genders in the metaphor – Serena has beaten Venus four of the last five years, and the one win came two seasons ago when Michigan State was awful.
You know exactly how the Spartans roll, because they just got Penn State with the formula.
It might be maddening that the MSU style keeps the Central Michigans and Utah States in the game – the Spartans just don’t come out and go Alabama with a big first quarter – but owning the time of possession battle, having the nation’s best run defense, not screwing up in big moments works.
And the longer this game goes, the tighter and tighter Michigan should get.
What’s Going To Happen
Michigan is the better team.
It’s better in just about every area, it has the defense that’s feeling it after what it did against Wisconsin, Shea Patterson has been a fantastic fit, and it’s all working for a team that’s peaking at the right time.
But it’s Michigan State. It’s Mark Dantonio. It’s this game against Michigan.
Even so, the Wolverines are different this year, and this is when they finally break through the hex.
It’ll be a grind, and points will be at a premium, but Michigan State really won’t be able to throw, and it won’t have the ground game to keep up after the Wolverines go on an early scoring drive.
There will be moments when Michigan looks like it’s about to blow it, but this time, it won’t.
And Jim Harbaugh will get, arguably, the most important win of his tenure.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Michigan 24, Michigan State 16
Line: Michigan -7, o/u: 41.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1
Must See Rating: 4.5
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