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Michigan Football: Why Wolverines Will Snap Losing Streak vs. Michigan State

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 13:  Fitzgerald Toussaint #28 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates a third quarter touchdown with Denard Robinson #16 and the rest of his offensive teammates while playing the Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan Stadium on October 13, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won the game 45-0. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2012

The Michigan Wolverines have not defeated the Michigan State Spartans since 2007, leaving the players very hungry entering Saturday's matchup.

This year, the Wolverines have a blueprint to win. Ohio State only won 17-16 over the Spartans in Week 5, but Braxton Miller's legs showed Michigan exactly how it can win the game on Saturday.

Miller ran for 136 yards, averaging nearly six yards per carry. He's one of the nation's most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks, but Denard Robinson isn't far behind. Even if you doubt Robinson's throwing ability, it's hard to doubt his incredible scrambling prowess.

Robinson has struggled a bit throwing the ball this season. He's completing the same amount of passes that he has for his career, but he's already thrown eight picks.

That doesn't make things look good when it comes to throwing the ball on Saturday, but his rushing numbers still speak to his strengths.

On the year, Robinson has run for just over 800 yards and six touchdowns. Averaging eight yards per carry, he still maintains the big-play ability that has made him so dangerous in his Michigan career.

The Wolverines don't stop there, either. Brady Hoke has this team playing defense, something that doesn't bode well for the one-dimensional Spartans offense.

Andrew Maxwell has over 1,600 yards passing this year, but he also has four picks. Completing just over 50 percent of his passes, Maxwell hasn't been a beacon of success as Kirk Cousins' replacement.

That doesn't take away from Le'Veon Bell, but Michigan's defense attacks the ball too well to allow a one-dimensional offense to take the upper hand.

Michigan has won its last two games by a margin of 89-13. Granted, those wins came against Purdue and Illinois, but a win is a win.

Robinson, by himself, has enough to beat the Spartans. As good as Michigan State's defense can be, Michigan's defense is actually equipped to match them this year.

The Wolverines will welcome the Spartans into the Big House on Saturday with open arms. Robinson is looking for his first win over Michigan State in his career, which should spell momentum for the senior signal-caller.

Expect a close game, but an emotional win for Hoke's squad. He has more talent on both sides of the ball than he did last season, and the Wolverines will finally reverse the recent trend on Saturday.

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