Michigan vs Michigan State ::The Michigan Wolverines must keep winning if they hope to contend for the Big Ten East and the Michigan State Spartans need continue upsetting the teams in front of them to claim the division for themselves.
Jim Harbaugh and the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines have won six consecutive games since they struggled against Notre Dame to start the year. The Wolverines have fought their way to what is currently a two-way tie the top of the Big Ten East alongside the Ohio State Buckeyes. However, there’s a team within the same state as Michigan that is eyeballing a chance to move on up in the division.
How to watch Michigan vs Michigan State
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
Start Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: East Lansing, MI
Stadium: Spartan Stadium
TV Info: Fox
Odds: Michigan -7
Live Stream: fuboTV
The No. 24 Michigan State Spartans are fresh off of a road upset of the Penn State Nittany Lions. That win over Penn State effectively ended any hopes that the Nittany Lions may have had for winning the Big Ten East and instead put the Spartans in a place that they could theoretically claim the division. Michigan State is 2-1 in conference play, but that one loss was to Northwestern, who is in the Big Ten West. If Michigan State keeps winning in its division, it can keep moving up.
Jim Harbaugh knows just where the Spartans biggest strengths lie in 2018.
“Very good run defense (Michigan State), very stout up front, they’ve got some hard playing guys, linebackers that are some of the best in the league. Very sound system. Do a great job of adjusting. Tremendously well coached. Have a lot of variation to their scheme.
Shea Patterson and Karan Higdon will look to make sure that MSU doesn’t have a chance to topple the Wolverines on Saturday. Patterson hasn’t been as explosive or incredible as many hoped that he would be, but he’s been efficient and has managed games effectively this season. He’s still growing accustomed to Harbaugh’s offense but has done well so far, throwing for 1,311 yards and 10 touchdowns while only throwing three picks. Higdon has been able to gain yards alongside Patterson, rushing for 687 yards and six touchdowns.
MSU’s offense, on the other hand, has been explosive at times and in other instances completely blown up in the Spartans’ collective face. The Spartans have only been able to run for 123 yards per game this year, so the burden of the offense falls mostly on quarterback Brian Lewerke this year. Lewerke has responded by completing 60 percent of his passes for 1,587 yards and eight touchdowns, but he also has seven interceptions so far this year.
The Michigan Wolverines are a more complete team. There is certainly a chance that Harbaugh’s team will have a difficult time being as motivated for this game after the Wolverines won big against Wisconsin on a big stage. However, Michigan State is in the same sort of situation after their big win against Penn State and neither Michigan or MSU will overlook this rivalry game. It will probably be closer than many Michigan fans will prefer, but the Wolverines should return home with a solid win.