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The battle of the Great Lakes is finally upon us. No doubt this week's biggest match up lies with the instate rivals doing battle once again. For the first time this decade, the two teams meet boasting similar undefeated records.
As much as the nation has succumbed to the fact that Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is “running” away with the Heisman, a win this week would be the first big win on the QB’s resume. Michigan State boasts a hard-nosed and tough defense, but not the most athletic.
The Spartans defense has been much talked about this week; however, I think most of it is moot. MSU has played well against teams that like to pound the ball. The one team the Spartans struggled with was Notre Dame, a team who is very athletic. This weekend, Michigan State will see probably the most athletic player in the nation with Robinson. Their goal must be to hit the QB hard early and prevent the long plays.
Michigan has put up a lot of points on the board this season, most of which have come with big plays. If Michigan State can somehow slow down the Michigan offense, or should I say Denard Robinson, they have a better chance of getting a big win two weeks in a row.
Watching the game this week, I want to see more than just Robinson. Denard is one heck of a player, athlete, and teammate, but history shows us that a team that relies too much on one player falters eventually. As the season moves on and teams are able to watch more tape and game plan better, you have to figure someone else has to step up.
Who will that someone be?
To be honest, as much as I have followed Michigan football this season because of Robinson, I don’t think I could name another offensive player. My eyes will be glued to Robinson’s play this weekend, but I will also be watching and waiting for another Michigan player to make a name for himself.
I also have to mention Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio once again. After a blood cot forced him back to the hospital for last weekend’s game, Dantonio plans to rejoin the troops in the press box this weekend. No doubt this will give the Spartans a major lift they’ll need traveling to the big house.
Definitely the biggest game of the season for Michigan State—keep in mind they don’t play Ohio State this year—and a BCS busting game for Michigan has this Big Ten showdown taking the top spot at number one.