The Michigan State Spartans are playing at home and are a 4.5 point favorite over the Wolverines on Saturday. At times, both teams can be offensively challenged, but you can’t get much worse than the Spartans’ passing game. It would be okay if they were a great running team, but Michigan State is only average in that area as well. However, two out of the last three weeks, Michigan State scored 42 points.
Michigan has been wildly inconsistent on both sides of the ball. The last two weeks, they have given up 90 points, but the defense should have plenty of chances to make plays on Saturday. The Wolverines will have to play their best most focused game of the season.
It’s hard to get a handle on what the Michigan Wolverines really are. On one hand, they’ve displayed some spectacular offensive days, and on others, they have completely gone in the tank. They are facing their toughest defense by far. They can’t turn the ball over with consistency on Saturday. Devin Gardner already has 10 interceptions, and Michigan State is skillful and tenacious in the secondary. It could be a long day if Michigan becomes one dimensional.
Defensively, they haven’t been playing well at all. However, things can get better in a hurry against a Michigan State offense. Michigan is tough against the run, and Michigan State can’t really pass the ball down field. There should be no way that the Spartans can drive the ball down field. That means big plays must be limited.
If they had any legitimate offense, this team could be one of the best in the country. Michigan State could be turning a corner, but they have a lot to prove offensively. Connor Cook has thrown 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season. He must be efficient if they are to win on Saturday.
The Spartans hang their hat on defense. By only giving 55 yards on the ground, most opponents become one dimensional against Michigan State. When that happens, it’s likely that the game is over. As long as the offense is playing well and not turning the ball over, Michigan State will shut you down. The defensive backs must play under control and not give Michigan any unneeded penalties.
If Michigan State wins, Michigan is knocked out of the running for the Big 10 title game. They’ll be down two games with three to play. Yet, if the Wolverines can pull off the upset, the division race will go down to the wire. It’s a must win for both teams.
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