Division Foes on Separate Paths
Division rivals will meet once again when Michigan State and Michigan compete for the Paul Bunyan Trophy on Saturday.
The teams’ seasons have gone in different directions, as Michigan sits atop the Big Ten Eastern division while Michigan State is near the bottom.
The Spartans won their first two games, however, that was followed by a four-game losing streak. Michigan State won its first game since Week 2 last week when it defeated Wisconsin 34-28 in double overtime. The Spartans are 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the conference, which is sixth in the Big Ten East.
The Wolverines are undefeated through the first seven games. No. 4 Michigan most recently defeated No. 13 Penn State 41-17 and with a 4-0 conference record, is first in the Eastern division.
Spartans’ Improving Offense
Although the Spartans have struggled, they showed improvement in their win over Wisconsin.
Michigan State, in the bottom four in the Big Ten in total yards and the middle of the conference in total points and passing yards, improved those numbers against the Badgers.
The Spartans have averaged 349 total yards, 242.9 passing yards, and 27.3 points. Against Wisconsin, Michigan State threw for 290 passing yards and went for 389 total yards and 34 points.
Quarterback Payton Thorne and wide receiver Jayden Reed both played a key role in leading the Spartans to a win.
Thorne threw for 265 yards and a touchdown off 21-for-28 passing while Reed caught nine balls for 117 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a 25-yard touchdown pass.
The two connected for a touchdown in the second overtime to secure the win over Wisconsin.
The Spartans will need to continue to show improvement on offense to be able to keep up with the streaking Wolverines.
Wolverines’ Dominant Defense
Though Michigan’s strong offense has helped the team remain undefeated, its defense has been stifling as well.
The Wolverines have one of the top defenses in the Big Ten, as they are in the top three in all the major categories.
Michigan has held opponents to 250 yards a game, third in the conference, and its 12.1 points allowed is second. The Wolverines’ rushing and passing defense is also second and third, respectively.
The Wolverines also lead the conference in sacks with 24, and linebacker Mike Morris is third in the Big Ten with five sacks.
Against the Big Ten, Michigan has held opponents to 17 points per game.
Michigan’s defense has been a solid complement to its strong offense, leading the team to success.
Michigan State vs Michigan Injury Report
Michigan State vs Michigan Head-to-Head
The Spartans and Wolverines will be meeting for the 115th time Saturday, with Michigan leading the series 71-38-5. This will be the second night game between the two, with the last taking place in 2017 and Michigan State winning 14-10 on the road.
The Spartans have won 10 of the last 15 games, including last year’s meeting in East Lansing, a 37-33 victory. Both teams were ranked in the Top 10 going into the matchup for the first time since 1964.
Michigan State vs Michigan Game Information
- Game: Michigan State vs Michigan
- Location: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
- Day/Time: Saturday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Michigan State vs Michigan Live Stream: ESPN
Michigan State vs Michigan Betting Lines
Michigan State vs Michigan Prediction
Although Michigan State has dominated the series the past few years, this game is different, as the Spartans have been struggling while the Wolverines are thriving.
Michigan State won its last game, but with Michigan undefeated and playing at home, the Wolverines should win the matchup for the first time in three years. However, with it being a rivalry game and the Spartans showing improvement, Michigan State should cover.