Michigan State vs. Michigan
Betting Line: Michigan – 4.5 o/u 64
It’s been some time since #19 Michigan and #17 Michigan State have met and both were undefeated. The in-state rivals have both put together improbable early season runs to be 5-0. The Wolverines have yet to beat a team of consequeNCe, but they do own wins over underachieving Connecticut and Notre Dame teams. The Spartans took down a solid Wisconsin team a week ago, but will be traveling for the first time this year. The Wolverines and Spartans have met every challenge they have faced this year, but in this battle of unbeatens something has got to give. The Wolverines are a solid 4.5 point favorite.
QB Denard Robinson is a one man show for the Michigan offense. The sophomore passed for 277 yards and 3 TDs against Indiana without throwing an INT. He rushed for 217 yards and 2 more TDs. He broke loose on one run for 72 yards. Is there a defense out there that can stop this guy? If there is we haven’t seen one yet. “Shoelaces” as they call him is a one man show on the offense. If he has a big day they will win. If he doesn’t show up they won’t. It’s as simple as that. He’s yet to have a bad Game, but its bound to happen sooner or later. The Michigan State defense has been sharp so its important for him to stay on his toes.
The Michigan Wolverines defense has been atrocious. They GAve up 37 points to the Massachusetts Minutemen. Yes, that’s right. At home too! They allowed Indiana to rack up 35 points. At times they have looked good, holding Notre Dame to 24 points, and UCONN to 10 points. They have sacked opposing QBs 7 times in 2010. The Michigan State offensive line has allowed 11 sacks, so expect HC Rich Rodriguez to keep pressure on QB Kirk Cousins. This defense is the key to the Game. If they step up Michigan will win and probably cover the spread.
The Michigan State Spartans offense is led by Junior QB Kirk Cousins. He had a big Game against Wisconsin passing for 269 yards while completing 20 of 29 passes for 3 TDs and 2 INTs. Cousins played well early in the year against Notre Dame passing for 245 yards, 2 TDs, and an INT. If he can learn to cut down on mistakes and INTs he would be one of the best QBs in the Big Ten. Senior WR Mark Dell had his first big Game in Michigan State’s 34-24 win over Wisconsin. He had 91 yards and a TD.
Freshman Le’Veon Bell has been a top RB for the Spartans. The young player has GAined 471 yards and scored 7 TDs so far this year. He will only improve as the year goes on. Michigan’s defense has allowed lots of running yards, so this could be his best Game yet. Sophomore Edwin Baker has been even better. The Highland Park, MI native has 536 yards on 75 carries and 5 TDs. Pounding the rock is something that Michigan State does well, so expect this tandem to see lots of action.
Michigan State’s defense didn’t do a great job stopping RB John Clay a week ago, but they didn’t allow him to run wild. They have to commit to stopping Denard Robinson. He has been running wild on everyone he has faced, but this is perhaps the best defense he has played to date. This Game will come down to the Spartans ability to go Scorefor Scorewith Michigan. It’s clear they have the better defense so this puts them at an advantage.
These teams are evenly matched. In a Game that’s truly a toss up, we’ll gladly take any points available. Michigan State +4.5