It’s a battle of teams from the East Division of the Big Ten taking the field at the Big House. The Michigan State Spartans take the in-state trip to face the #14 Michigan Wolverines Saturday afternoon. Michigan State was edged 37-34 at home by Illinois in their previous contest last Saturday. Michigan was off last week: in their previous game, they wiped out Maryland 38-7 on the road back on November 2. The Wolverines lead the all-time series between the teams 55-34-4, including a 21-7 road win in the most recent matchup on October 20, 2018.
Michigan State Spartans ReelingMichigan State suffered their fourth straight loss and this one was particularly galling. While one could forgive the Spartans for losing to Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin, each of whom were ranked in the top 10, the loss to Illinois was horrific. Michigan State led 28-3 less than four minutes into the second quarter and still led 31-10 after three quarters before things unraveled. The Spartans were outscored 27-3 in the final quarter, giving up the winning score with five seconds to play. Michigan State owned a 526-405 edge in total offense, rolled up 27 first downs while allowing 16 and owned a 37:44 to 22:16 edge in time of possession. The Spartans were hurt by four turnovers in the game, including a fourth quarter pick-six, while forcing two takeaways.
The Spartans are averaging 235 yards per game through the air (65th in the nation) while racking up 130.9 yards per game (tied for 106th in the nation) on the ground this season. Michigan State enters the contest 106th in the FBS as they average 23.1 points per game while the team is 42nd in scoring defense by allowing 23.6 points per game. Brian Lewerke is under center and has completed 166 of 298 passes for 2,012 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions while adding 265 yards plus a score on the ground. Darrell Stewart Jr. completed his lone pass for 17 yards while Rocky Lombardi hit seven of 21 passes for 74 yards and two interceptions. Elijah Collins leads the team with 143 carries for 715 yards and three scores on the ground: Connor Heyward (24 carries, 79 yards) and Anthony Williams Jr. (26 carries, 76 yards. TD) are next in line. Stewart Jr. has reeled in a team-leading 47 passes for 694 yards plus four scores this season. Cody White (37 receptions, 524 yards, two TD) and tight end Matt Seybert (19 catches, 222 yards, three TD) are next in line. Matt Coghlin has booted all 23 extra point attempts and 13 of his 20 field goal tries with a long of 47.
Michigan Wolverines Look to Earn Third Straight WinMichigan comes in off a bye last week: they enter this one winners of two straight and five of their last six as they put the boots to Maryland in their last game. The Wolverines improved to 7-2 on the season and 4-2 in the Big Ten by walloping the Terrapins. Michigan was in control from the outset as Giles Jackson took the opening kickoff back 97 yards for a score and they were on their way. The Wolverines led 21-0 at the half and was up 35-0 before Maryland got on the board. Michigan outgained Maryland 331-233 with both teams having 16 first downs. The Wolverines were edged 31:58 to 28:02 in time of possession and forced the game’s lone turnover in the contest.
On the season, the Wolverines are 78th in the FBS in passing offense as they average 219.2 yards through the air while ranking 58th in rushing offense with 170.2 yards per contest. Michigan is 50th in the FBS by putting up an average of 31.8 points per game on the season while ranking 11th in scoring defense as they allow 17.1 points per contest. Shea Patterson has completed 135 of 236 passes for 1,773 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions: he adds 96 rushing yards and five scores on the ground. Dylan McCaffrey is 10 of 20 for 116 yards plus a touchdown while adding 67 yards and a score on the ground. Michael Barrett completed his lone pass for 25 yards while Joe Milton has hit three of seven for 59 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Zach Charbonnet leads the team with 117 carries for 559 yards and 11 scores on the ground. Christian Turner is the second back in the system with 44 carries for 171 yards and a score while Hassan Haskins contributes 72 carries for 426 yards plus two scores. Ronnie Bell leads the team with 27 catches for 460 yards this season. Tarik Black (20 grabs, 257 yards, TD) and Nico Collins (22 catches, 439 yards, three TD) are the next targets in the mix. Jake Moody has hit all 18 extra point attempts and six of nine field goals with a long of 43 this season. Quinn Nordine is 17 of 17 on extra points and is one of four on field goals this season with a long of 38.
The top trends for this game according to Covers.com:
- Spartans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game
- Spartans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in November
- Spartans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall
- Wolverines are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 conference games
- Wolverines are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record