The Teams: Michigan (6-1) at Michigan
St. (7-1) The History: Michigan holds a 68-32-5 all-time
advantage in the series. Micihigan won 12-10 last season. The Depth Charts:Michigan
State and Michigan The Place: Spartan, East Lansing, Mich.. The Time: 3:30 p.m. EST The Line: Michigan +4 The Broadcast: ABC The Updates:Follow
the game on The Fort or follow us on Twitter: Borton, Balas, Spath, Reid and Sullivan.
"We labeled them as a little brother. And, you know the
little brother always wants to prove themselves and try to
beat up the big brother one day. I think they really take
offense to that.
"In 2011, I we were at Sparty. After the game, they told us
to get off the field. That's all I remember, and that's very
disrespectful. It's kind of like you know it's a business
trip, but deep down, somewhere in my heart, it's personal.
That's how I'm going to approach it."
-- Fifth-year senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint on
By the Numbers
TheWolverine.com Tailgate Show: Featuring the
staff and former players Doug Skene, Phil Brabbs and Ron
Staff Predictions: This is figures to be a
hard-fought game that may come down to the wire. How do
we think the game will go? Click
Matchups: TheWolverine.com takes a look at the
most important matchups on the field, including the the
wide receivers vs. the MSU secondary.
Click here to read the rest.
The number of completions of 20-plus yards allowed by the
Michigan State defense this year, including at least one in
every game. Those 16 completions account for 40.6 percent of
the total passing yards surrendered by MSU this year. The
Spartans are susceptible to the big play. 56: The number of consecutive seasons the
location of the Michigan-Michigan State game has flopped
between Ann Arbor and East Lansing on a yearly basis. The
Wolverines will play at Michigan State in 2013 and 2014, due
to conference realignment. 521: Michigan State's total penalty
yardage, which ranks 12th highest nationally and the most in
the Big Ten by 102 yards.
1. Devin Gardner, redshirt
junior quarterback: As trustdnb on The Fort message
board pointed out, Gardner has thrown for 1,043 yards, six
touchdowns and just two interceptions (both of which came in
the first half at Penn State) since the beginning of Big Ten
season. As much flak as he has taken this season, he has
been positively dominant against conference foes. Can he
keep up his hot streak? The Wolverines will need to hit a
couple big plays in the passing game to keep the Michigan
State defense honest. It's up to Gardner to make that
2. Devin Funchess,
sophomore tight end: One more player to highlight just
how important the Michigan passing game is going to be, if
the Wolverines want to escape East Lansing with a win. In
all likelihood, the offense is going to struggle to move the
ball on the ground. Funchess and Gallon have to beat the
Michigan State secondary over top. Funchess has struggled at
times vs. press coverage. If he can consistently battle
Darqueze Dennard or Trae Waynes to get open down the field,
it would be a very positive sign for the Wolverines.
3. Max Bullough, senior
linebacker: Get ready for some A-Gap blitzes. Bullough
is going to bring the heat on Gardner - early, often and
with gusto. If he is getting to the quarterback up the
middle with little or no resistance, it might be a long day
for the Wolverine offense. Bullough has 47 tackles on the
year, including 6.5 for a loss and a sack. He and Denicos
Allen are going to be let loose on Michigan. The Wolverines
have to respond well.
4. The Interior Offensive
Line: This is directly tied to the Bullough reference
above. The Michigan interior line has been retooled,
shuffled and changed up all season. Against Indiana two
weeks ago, the Wolverines may have found a lineup they can
ride for the rest of the 2013 season. Redshirt freshman Erik
Magnuson moved from his usual spot as a backup tackle to
take over at right guard, with generally positive results.
True freshman Kyle Bosch checked in for an injured Joey
Burzynski and played surprisingly well. But the Michigan
State defense is a whole new beast. Can they hold their own
against the No. 1 defense in the country?
5. Jeremy Langford, junior
running back: The Michigan State running game has
found a groove recently, averaging 229.7 yards per game on
the ground in its last three outings. Langford has been a
big part of that. He now has 141 carries for 655 yards and
nine touchdowns (4.6 yards per carry) this year. Which is
impressive, considering he had tallied nine carries for 23
yards in his career before 2013. The Wolverines need to slow
down Michigan State's run game Saturday.