What a win vs. Michigan State would mean for Michigan

This Saturday afternoon, at 3:30 p.m. ET, the Michigan Wolverines play their hated in-state rival: the Michigan State Spartans. Michigan comes into this game as a heavy underdog. The spread is 17 points in the Spartans’ favor. Michigan is such a large underdog due to the poor season they have had so far (3-4, 1-2 B1G) and Michigan State being 6-1 and ranked No. 8 in the nation.

Last season, Michigan found itself in a close first half until the Spartans ran away with the game at an embarrassing final score of 29-6. Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner took a major beating throughout last year’s matchup and all Michigan fans hope to see a much better game this year. The Spartans’ defensive line was simply too much for the young and inexperienced Wolverines’ offensive line with Michigan State’s two stud defensive ends, Shilique Calhoun and Marcus Rush.

If Brady Hoke and his Wolverines can pull off a win in East Lansing today, it would go down as one of the biggest upsets in Michigan football history. A win would greatly improve Hoke’s chances of keeping his job as head coach of the University of Michigan. Even if it comes down to the wire like we have previously seen in this rivalry before, Michigan fans can at least have bragging rights for the next 365 days.

Five Things Michigan Must Do To Beat Michigan State

The Michigan Wolverines are revving up to face Michigan State for the 107th time today. The Wolverines hold the series lead with a record of 68-33-5. That record doesn’t seem to bother Spartans fans though. Their team has won five out of the last six meetings. Last year, on their way to a Rose Bowl championship, the Spartans handed the Wolverines a 29-6 loss. To add insult to injury, the Wolverines stumbled to a 7-6 record after starting the 2013 season 5-0. They were invited to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and lost to Kansas State.

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Michigan Game Preview: Michigan State

Michigan 3-4 (1-2) vs Michigan State Spartans 6-1 (3-0)

Where:
East Lansing, Michigan

Date/Time:
Saturday, October 25th, 2014
3:30 pm EST

What to Expect:

Michigan’s struggles this season have been well documented, and Michigan State has dominated the conference now for close to two years, so this is no easy task for the Wolverines. With a potent running attack and Connor Cook developing into a serious quarterback threat, Michigan has it’s hands full on Saturday. Devin Gardner needs to be on his “A” game this week, or Michigan could find themselves down double digits in a hurry.

This is a historic rivalry, so I do believe Michigan will be playing with something to prove, especially having two weeks to prepare for the Spartans. Even though the time to prepare was the same last season, I expect a different result. Michigan State is hungry for a second Rose bowl appearance, and Michigan is looking to play spoiler. I expect smashmouth football all day, which will be no easy task against two stout defenses.

Key Players

Jeremy Langford is a workhorse in the backfield for the Spartans, which only means we will be seeing him with the football in his hands for a good portion of the game. That will open up the possibility of play-action, and the Wolverines need to be aware of Connor Cook’s arm.

Michigan has a chance to shake up things in the Big Ten, so they should have a fiery spirit about them on Saturday. Although they will be without sophomore running back Derrick Green, they have serviceable backs to carry the workload. Devin Gardner has the ability to lead this team to a win, but only if Gardner can stay upright and take care of the football. It’s a suspect offensive line, which will need to fend off a vicious defensive front, so they better pack a lunch.

Prediction:
Michigan State 28 – Michigan 10
Michigan State is the better football team right now, but Michigan has enough talent to matchup with the Spartans. If Michigan controls the football and plays keep away, they can pull an upset. However, Michigan State is too much for the reeling Wolverines, and Paul Bunyan stays in East Lansing.

Interviewing Michigan State Blogger Blake Baumgartner

One of the greatest in-state rivalries in college football will be renewed this weekend when Michigan travels to Michigan State to play for the 107th time in this storied series. As is the weekly custom, TBHR got a chance to ask Blake Baumgartner of SB Nation’s The Only Colors about this year’s team in East Lansing and what we can expect to see on Saturday.

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Michigan’s History With Michigan State

One of the great rivalries of college football will renew its series this Saturday afternoon when the Michigan Wolverines travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans. This is a series that dates all the way back to 1898 with Michigan holding a 68-33-5 record over the Spartans. Recently, however, Michigan State has bounced back to claim five of the last six. This Saturday when these two programs meet for the 107th time, it will be Michigan State that holds a clear advantage over the Wolverines.

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Brady Hoke: “You’re playing for a state championship”

The in-state rivalry between the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans isn’t taken lightly. In recent years, the Spartans have dominated the series, taking five of six from the Wolverines. On Monday afternoon Brady Hoke compared this intense rivalry to playing for a state championship.

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Brady Hoke: Devin Gardner was a “full go” in Sunday’s practice

While Michigan football head coach Brady Hoke shortened up his answers for the media on Monday afternoon, he did confirm that quarterback Devin Gardner was a “full go” in practice on Sunday, which is great news for the Wolverines as they prep to travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State.

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Denard Robinson Rushes For Career-High 127 Yards For Jacksonville Jaguars

Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has patiently been waiting for his turn within the Jacksonville Jaguars organization, and it paid off for him today as he rushed for a career-high 127 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Cleveland Browns.

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