#7 Michigan State (6-0, 2-0) at #12 Michigan (5-1, 2-0)
When: Saturday, October 17th, 2015
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Time: 3:30 ET
TV: ESPN Radio: XM 81
The 12th ranked Michigan Wolverines have pushed their way back into the national spotlight since their opening season loss to Utah. Defense has been the key to their resurgence with three straight shutouts over BYU, Maryland, and Northwestern. Michigan is allowing a mere 6.3 points a game which easily ranks first in the nation. They are also 2nd in overall defense, 2nd against the pass, and 3rd against the run. The Wolverines have coupled their stingy defense with a balanced offense that is averaging 201.3 yards rushing and 189.2 through the air. Jake Rudock threw 3 interceptions in the opener at Utah, but has only thrown 3 in the last five games while completing 62 percent of his passes. Runing back De’Veon Smith leads the rushing attack with 390 yards. This is a big game for Michigan. If they can get by the Spartans, they’ll be favored to run the table setting up the showdown with Ohio State to end the regular season.
Michigan State seems to be the forgotten team in the Big Ten despite their perfect 6-0 record. The reason for that might be that they are not winning very impressively which is evident in their 0-6 record against the spread. They beat Purdue by only 3 points in their conference opener then only won by 7 over Rutgers. Still, they have a very good offense that can compete with just about anyone. The Spartans are averaging almost 400 yards of offense and have won six of the last seven games against Michigan. Connor Cook has thrown for 12 touchdowns with only two interceptions this year and his top target Aaron Burbridge, has 34 catches for 560 yards, and 4 TDs. Running back Madre London, who has 399 yards rushing and three touchdowns, is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. The Spartans have scored at least 24 points in 21 straight games, tied with Baylor for the longest such streak in FBS.
On paper, it looks like Michigan will run away with this game, but this is a rivalry game and the Spartans will not lay down. Michigan State is undefeated and have won 10 straight games overall. I think this will be a lot closer than Vegas thinks.
Pick: Michigan State +7