The Michigan Wolverines will do something they haven't done in nearly five years this weekend.
Beat Michigan State.
Michigan has not defeated in-state rival Michigan State since November 3, 2007. The Wolverines, who were led by offensive stars Chad Henne and Mike Hart, scored two late touchdowns that Saturday evening to survive the Spartans 28-24 on the road.
Fast-forward through four Michigan State victories, and the Wolverines—this time led by Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint—will attempt to end a bitter four-game losing streak to their foe from East Lansing.
Michigan will have an added advantage playing at home, where it is a perfect 3-0 this fall. The Wolverines blanked Illinois at Michigan Stadium this past weekend, topping the Illini 45-0 to move to 2-0 in Big Ten play.
Michigan State's offense could only dream about lighting up the scoreboard like that coming into Week 8.
The Spartans have been anemic offensively this season. Michigan State is averaging just 21 points per game, and has scored more than 23 points just twice in seven games. On the other hand, the Wolverines are averaging close to 34 points per game this season and slightly more than 46 points per game at home.
Damaged confidence will also be a major obstacle for the Spartans to overcome in Week 8. Michigan State is coming off an overtime loss to Iowa at home, and has lost three of its last five overall. At 4-3 and 1-2 in the Big Ten, the Spartans are one of the conference's worst teams in 2012.
Who would have thought?
Still, Michigan's task this weekend will be anything but easy. The Wolverines have been outscored 123-72 by the Spartans over the last four seasons and have dropped their last two home games to Michigan State.
It will take a big-time effort from Brady Hoke's squad, but one that is long overdue.
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