Michigan State vs. Michigan Football Preview


Sean Wing, Sports Reporter

The line on this years battle for Paul Bunyan and bragging rights is insane. Some odds makers have the spread at 24.5 points in favor of the Wolverines.

Michigan (7-0) is off to a hot start. They are ranked second overall in the country. Their defense is among the nation’s elite and their offense is showing they can be explosive as well. Michigan State (2-5) had a promising start to the season after a big win over Notre Dame, but after that MSU has dropped five straight games. A few of those losses came as a shock to the college football world. MSU started the season ranked twelfth but has since dropped off the map. This season is seen as a disappointment after the Spartans made it all the way to College Football Playoff a year ago. If MSU can pull off this shocking upset, they will gain momentum and their odds of making a bowl game will increase drastically.

Defensively, the Spartans are led by senior linebacker Riley Bullough. He’s the heart of the defense and will do his best to stop the Michigan offense. MSU is really struggling on defense this year, which is uncharacteristic of a Mark Dantonio team. They rank 84th nationally in total defense. If that continues, MSU could be in for a long day. Michigan’s defense, on the other hand, is scary. Led by a new defensive coordinator, Don Brown, the Wolverines are ranked number one in eight defensive categories including points per game and total defense. They are led by Jabrill Peppers and Jourdan Lewis. Both of these players can change a game in an instant and will be playing next year on Sundays.

Offensively, Michigan State is still searching for a quarterback. It will be Tyler O’Connor, Damien Terry, or Brian Lewerke. While the Spartans have an elite running back in L.J. Scott, their offensive line has struggled to control the line of scrimmage as MSU ranks tenth in the Big Ten in rushing. It will come down to players like Donnie Corley and R.J. Shelton to make plays outside if MSU wants to have a chance. Michigan is rolling on offense. They are averaging over 48 points per game and have scored 27 rushing touchdowns. They have a stable of running backs that split carries fairly equally, and they are led by quarterback Wilton Speight. All he has had to do this season is make good decisions. If Speight makes good decisions against MSU, Michigan should be in good shape.

Being a rivalry game, Michigan State might be able to pull off an upset for the ages. According to Michigan, they are treating this game like every other game: A championship game. Personally, I think Michigan is too talented on both sides of the ball, and I think Michigan State will struggle to stay in this game. I think Michigan’s defense will dominate the day and set up their offense with great field position. Michigan State will come out aggressive, but passion will fade away as the score goes up for Michigan.

My Prediction: Michigan 42 Michigan State 10