The Michigan Wolverines have their foot on the gas pedal and have no reason to let off now. The Michigan State Spartans will be looking to spoil whatever dreams the Wolverines have of a National Championship if they either beat their in-state rivals or play them close.
Michigan is led by one of the nation’s best ground attacks that features four players with over 320+ yards on the ground. If the Spartans have any chance at an upset they must find a way to stop De’Veon Smith, Ty Issac, Chris Evans and Karan Higdon. It sounds easy for me to write but each player averages over 5 yards per carry. QB, Wilton Speight may not be up there with the nation’s leaders in yardage but he has been steady in field management and putting his offense in the best position to put points on the board.
The Spartans average 155 yards on the ground through the legs of LJ Scott and Gerald Holmes. If Tyler O’Conner can manage to keep his turnovers down he may have a shot at a decent game against one of the best defenses in the nation.
But, Michigan is not out of the woods as many may think. This is a New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles matchup. No matter the records this is still a rivalry. The students have this game circled, that’s how crucial this is, and with Michigan being ranked No.2 in the country it makes the game that much important for the Spartans. It’s nothing like having a recruit visit the campus and being able to tell them that you upset the 2nd best team in the nation last year.
What the game will come down to is field position. The Wolverines feature a ground game that is used to wear down a defense, move the chains and eat up the clock. The Spartans use the same approach but it’s their two runners up against four healthy backs for Michigan. If both teams are able to stop the run then the arms of the QB’s will come into play. This is where Michigan has an advantage. Speight has only thrown one interception in 182 attempts, while O’Conner has thrown six in 149 attempts.
This will be a battle, more than a win is on the line for both teams. The Wolverines do not want to lose their chance at the playoffs and the Spartans don’t want to be a doormat this weekend.