Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Michigan better be able to force Andrew Maxwell to have to throw the ball to beat them. Playing in the biggest game of his life, is he really capable of that, though?
Some of his numbers are impressive, while others aren't so much. He leads the Big Ten in attempts and completions but is last in the conference in completion percentage, at an abysmal 54.3 percent.
He does lead the conference in total yards thrown for, as he already has 1,607 passing yards. Maxwell's quarterback rating of 111.64 is second worst in the conference, though.
Michigan State actually throws the ball the exact same number of times they rush the ball per game. As a whole, their passing numbers are much better than their rushing numbers.
They are actually third in the conference in passing yards per game, throwing for 236 yards a game.
Maxwell has completed more than 55 percent of his passes in only three games this season: against Boise State, Central Michigan and Indiana.
His receivers have a lot to do with that, though, too. The inexperience and youth that many were so concerned about in the receiving core has come to fruition.
No player has more than two touchdown catches, and only two have that many. Keith Mumphery does lead the team in catches and receiving yards, but drops have been a real issue with him.
Dion Sims is second on the team in catches with 24, but his status for Saturday's game is up in the air. That would be a huge blow for State if he doesn't play.
Bell is third with 23 catches, which is pretty surprising for a running back with his size. Aaron Burbridge has emerged lately, averaging just under 16 yards a catch. He has 223 receiving yards in his last two games, but those did come against the likes of Indiana and Iowa.
Bennie Fowler and Tony Lippett are the two other receivers that will see the majority of the time. Redshirt freshman Andre Sims Jr. could see more time as well, as he did see an increased role last week. The same can be said for freshman Macgarrett Kings.
State is just looking for any kind of help they can get at wide receiver.
DeAnthony Arnett, who was thought to provide a huge spark, seldom plays; he has just two catches on the year.
Will Michigan's secondary have much trouble with these receivers? With the way J.T. Floyd and Raymon Taylor are playing lately, I don't think they will. These two corners are the main reason Michigan's numbers against the pass are so unbelievable.
Michigan ranks in the top 5 nationally in the following categories: completions allowed, total pass yards allowed, passing touchdowns allowed and passing yards given up per game. Again, folks, all of those stats are top 5 nationally.
The opposition they've faced obviously has to be taken into account as well, but it's still very impressive.
Plus, this defense is finally intercepting passes. After not recording a pick in its first three games, Michigan has now intercepted five passes in its last three. Four of those alone belong to Raymon Taylor and Thomas Gordon.
If the Michigan front seven is able to get consistent pressure on Maxwell, who knows how many mistakes he'll make? With the way State's offensive line has been playing, that's a real possibility.
If Michigan can stop State on first and second downs, it will bode well; their third down conversion percentage is third last in the Big Ten. Their touchdown percentage in the red zone is also second last in the conference, at 54 percent.
I like Michigan in this aspect by a wide margin. State may be forced into throwing the ball a bit more than they'd like, and that bodes well for the Wolverines.