Many people thought before the season that the game against Michigan and Michigan State probably wouldn’t be a great matchup just yet. What many people didn’t realize is that Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh’s plan is working faster than most expected.
Michigan came into this season with expectations of finishing with six or seven wins and making a bowl game. This season was supposed to be a part of the building process in the plans of Harbaugh.
Those plans have changed though. Harbaugh has this team playing the best football Ann Harbor has seen since the glory days of Lloyd Carr. They now face an extremely tough Michigan State team that is ranked No. 7 in the nation.
That close loss to Utah really was a springboard for the success of Michigan. They have won every game since on the backs of a tremendously improved defense and the amazing running ability of De’Veon Smith.
Smith has rushed for 390 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. He has been the heart and soul of this Wolverines offense. His running ability is going to be a major asset heading into the game against a Michigan State rush defense that only ranks 44th in the nation.
The Spartans have a solid running game as well. Freshman Madre London looks to build on a great first season against Michigan. He has rushed for 399 yards and 3 touchdowns this season. It won’t be very easy to find holes on the line though.
The Michigan defense ranks 3rd in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game this season. They are only giving up 65.8 YPG. Michigan State has another option if their running attack gets shut down though. They have quarterback Connor Cook.
Cook has thrown for 1,334 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. That is leaps and bounds better than Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock.
Between these two teams, the rushing game is similar as well as the defense. The only difference that I see is in the quarterback play and that goes to Michigan State with Cook.
This is going to be a hard fought, defensive, game. I see Michigan State coming out of this game with a win, 21-14.