Michigan-Michigan State Meet for Undefeated Rivalry

The matchup between No. 6 Michigan and  No. 8 Michigan State is not only an in-state rivalry game, it’s a battle of two undefeated (7-0) teams. At noon on Saturday, the battle will kickoff in East Lansing, Michigan. The battle between the Spartan rushing and the Wolverine’s defense will be huge, as a win here will be enormous in either team’s Big 10 East division championship hopes.

The away team Wolverines are favored for the Paul Bunyan by 4.5 points.  The Spartans won last year’s game, however, as a major underdog, upsetting the Wolverines 27-24.

Harbaugh on Michigan State

Michigan
FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2018, file photo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh leads his players and fans in singing “Hail to the Victors” after a practice session by the NCAA college football team at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Jim Harbaugh enters his sixth season as Michigan’s coach with just two years left on his contract, adding another layer of interest in the 18th-ranked Wolverines as they kick off the season this week at No. 21 Minnesota.(AP Photo/Tony Ding, File)

Ahead of the game, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh complimented Michigan State’s running game, efficient quarterback play and good defense. The Spartan defense doesn’t have any major tendencies to pick up on.

Indeed, Spartan running back Kenneth Walker III leads the nation in rushing yards per game with 142.4. The junior also has nine rushing touchdowns. The Spartans are 26th in overall offense with  451.7 yards a game.

Simultaneously, Michigan State has yet to face a defense like Michigan’s. The Wolverines allow only 299 yards a game, good for 11th in college football.

Michigan Tight Ends

Harbaugh also said that tight ends are making more of an impact on the passing game.

For the Wolverines, tight ends are making more of an impact on the passing game. Erick All caught five balls for 34 yards in the Wolverines’ 33-7 win over Northwestern. Harbaugh also complimented Luke Schoonmaker for his recent performance. Schoonmaker tacked on 54 yards in the last three games, after not making a single reception to begin the year.

Harbaugh said both players have been helpful in blocking for the run game and on special teams.

Michigan State Head Coach Mel Fisher on the Rivalry

Michigan State head coach Mel Fisher says he knows playing for the Paul Bunyan Trophy is a big deal.

Fisher says the Spartans know it’s a rivalry game. For the Spartans to win, they will have to block out all the outside voices and focus on themselves.

Implications

Winning this game would be invaluable for both teams in the race for the Big 10 East. No. 5 Ohio State (6-1) finishes their season off against Michigan State on Nov. 20 and Michigan on Nov. 27. A win in this game could be a tiebreaker for getting into the Big 10 Championship if one team loses to the Buckeyes in November.

How to Watch

The top-10 game will kickoff at noon on FOX.

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