The Michigan Wolverines come into this game a perfect 6-0, but can they take down the 4-1 Michigan State Spartans in just their second game away from the Big House?
Michigan's defense looked suspect in the first half against Northwestern last week. They can't afford a slow start this week against Michigan State. Both of these teams are looking to establish themselves as the best team in the still wide-open Big Ten.
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Michigan
When: Sat, Oct. 15 at 12 p.m. EDT
Watch: ESPN/ ESPN3
Spread: Michigan State -3, Michigan +3
Who will cover?
Michigan State has covered this point differential by a mile in the three games they've played at home. Even so, they haven't seen a team nearly the caliber of the Wolverines.
This is a heated rivalry, and with both teams coming into this matchup ranked and red-hot, it's safest to take the team that's getting the points.
Injuries for Michigan:
Brandon Herron, LB, (Leg) Questionable
Michael Cox, RB, (Undisclosed) Questionable
Ricky Barnum, OL, (Ankle) Doubtful
Cameron Gordon, LB, (Back) Doubtful
Injuries for Michigan State:
Bennie Fowler, WR, (Foot) Probable
Jared McGaha, T, (Knee) Questionable
Blake Treadwell, C, (Knee) Doubtful
Tyler Hoover, DE, (Back) Doubtful
Skyler Burkland, T, (Ankle) Out for Season
Antonio Jeremiah, NT, (Knee) Out Indefinitely
Jairus Jones, S, (Achilles) Out Indefinitely
Zach Hueter, G, (Shoulder) Out for Season
BCS/Top 25 Implications:
Both of these teams would be getting a signature win they so desperately need. Neither team has a win over a ranked team, and doing so this week in a game of this magnitude would force voters to take notice.
A 7-0 Michigan team with a road win over Michigan State under their belt would easily break into the Top 10. Michigan State's blowout loss to Notre Dame set them back a bit, but a win over Michigan would be another crucial step towards legitimacy.
Keys to Victory for Michigan:
Let Denard Robinson break loose. He doesn't have to throw for over 300 yards and rush for over 100 yards like he did last season, but Michigan needs to get the ball into the hands of their best playmaker.
Robinson's attempts are all over the place. They have to be up for Michigan to perform like they want to, both on the ground and through the air. Michigan State is stingy, giving up just over 10 points a game. If Robinson can't find the end zone, Michigan State can take off with this one.
Keys to Victory for Michigan State:
Be aggressive early. This means yucking the ball down the field and letting Kirk Cousins try to jump out to a quick lead. Michigan State has the sort of team that makes it nearly impossible to come from behind on. They can hold the lead with their dominant defense and run game, they've just got to beat Michigan to the punch.
Play looser. Michigan State was uptight against Notre Dame and even looked suspect last week in their huge win over Ohio State. The defense is there, they just need their offense to loosen up a bit, without getting sloppy.
Prediction: Michigan 20, Michigan State 17