No 6 Michigan heads just an hour northwest to face off against their in-state rivals, No 8 Michigan State this Saturday at 11:00 AM CT. Michigan is coming off a win over Northwestern. Michigan State is coming off a close win against Indiana. They both are coming into this game being seven and zero and tied for first in the conference.
What’s At Stake?
College Football Playoffs is what’s at stake for both teams and possibly making to the Big Ten championship. Michigan and Jim Harbaugh are trying to have their best start to a season since 2016. Michigan State is also having its best start since 2015. This game may show us the team that will be in the Big Ten championship and who is the big dog of the state of Michigan.
Players to watch
Michigan State has two players that need to bounce back games this week. Kenneth Walker III (RB) and Payton Thorne (QB) are the two that need to come back from the close win against Indiana. Walker has 997 rushing yards and nine touchdowns so far this season. Thorne has 1,701 passing yards and 15 touchdowns this season. They both will be the story of this offense, and Michigan State will win or lose because of these two.
Michigan has two defensive stars that need to continue playing as they have been. Daxton Hill (DB) and Aidan Hutchinson (DE) will have to show up on defense and keep Michigan’s defense rolling. Hill has two interceptions and is second on the team in tackles. Hutchinson has the fourth most tackles on the team but is tied for most sacks at five. The defense will need to get to the quarterback this game, and if Hill can cover the receivers long enough, it will make Hutchinson get in the backfield for the sacks.
Michigan’s defense against Michigan State’s all-around offense is something that will show a lot. Michigan has held teams to an average of 14.3 points per game and 299 total yards per game. Michigan State’s offense has an average of 451.7 total yards per game and 251.3 are passing, and 200.4 are rushing. Michigan will have to figure out a way to control the game and make Michigan State uncomfortable. Michigan State’s offense will need to force the defense out of position so they can capitalize on the big plays.
This game is going to be one of the biggest games of the year and a must-win for both teams. Michigan is trying to prove to the country that they are one of the best teams, and Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches. Michigan State is coming to this game with a second-year coach and is trying to show everyone that they are back. It will be another Big Ten showdown and will more than likely come down to the last plays.
Prediction: Michigan wins 35 to 32.
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