What’s Up Paul?

Special Preview- Week Eight (NCAA Football)

(6) Michigan Wolverines at (24) Michigan State Spartans

Michigan: I was so impressed with them after their win against the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday night at the big house. Ever since Harbaugh returned to Ann Arbor to be the head coach of the Wolverines, their track record against quality opponents hasn’t been great in those big games. They finally got that big win over an in-conference opponent and this win could give them even more confidence moving forward. After the Notre Dame loss in week one, they have really opened up their playbook and have taken great care of the football. When you don’t turn the ball over, great things happen. My biggest take away from their offense in their win against the Badgers was seeing Shea Patterson use his feet and hurting the defense with his mobility and each time he ran, Wisconsin had no answer to stop it. A true Harbaugh identity is being able to run the football and they’ve controlled the clock during this winning streak. Of course, the defense has also done its part and they always will because they are one of the best in the nation. They’ll look to continue their winning streak on Saturday morning with their annual showdown against Michigan State.

Michigan State: They really made things quite interesting with their upset of the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday in Happy Valley. When you overlook the Big Ten East, there’s really only four teams that stand out and that’s Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and these Spartans. They’ve been inconsistent at times, but they’re in third place right now with a 4-2 record in the division. Brian Lewerke is a much better quarterback than the stats have shown this year, but they still average 271 yards passing a game and they love to run the football as well. Usually, Sparty always has a nice defensive group but that hasn’t been the case this year. They’ve struggled at times to get off the field on third down and it’s one thing when you can score and put points up each game (averaging 26 points) but when you give up over 20 a game defensively, it’s a problem and that’s exactly what the Spartans have done. There have been years where they’ve looked like the strongest team in the Big Ten, but this definitely isn’t it. It’s rivalry week in East Lansing and the blue and yellow come to town for their annual tilt.

Michigan Player To Watch: Karan Higdon– When he’s getting his touches, great, not good but great things happen for the Michigan offense. He’s a quick back out the backfield that can run someone over if you get his pathway. Continue to run him and everything will keep falling into place for the Michigan offense.

Michigan State Player To Watch: Felton Davis III– Good luck trying to run the football on this Wolverine front seven. Their best chance to beat them will be throwing the ball and Felton is their best playmaker in the receiving core.

Final Analysis: It’s always a fun battle when these two play and it’s always memorable. Remember the 2015 showdown when Sparty won on the mishandled punt? Last year was the first ever primetime showdown between these two and the Paul Bunyan Trophy came back to East Lansing. The offense that Michigan has run is what they need to keep running. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix or adjust it. Lewerke needs to start fast because it could be a long day.

Prediction: Michigan 30 Michigan State 21