Brandon Justice: Michigan 31, Michigan State 17
On paper, this should be a blowout. Michigan is the more talented team with or without Michigan State’s extensive injury report.
However, the minute you doubt a Mark Dantonio-led Spartans team, something crazy happens contrary to what’s expected.
All that being said, Michigan still wins this game.
The Wolverines defensive line will swarm the bruised MSU offensive line. This could be a game U-M totals well over five sacks, while sending consistent pressure on Brian Lewerke.
Offensively, Michigan will do much of the same: tread lightly, but ultimately successful enough to win. I don’t see it being a great day on the ground against a stout Spartans’ defensive line.
However, I like the “speed in space” in this game, and life’s guarantee of death, taxes and Nico Collins grabbing a touchdown.
Daniel Dash: Michigan 28, Michigan State 7
We’ve learned to expected the unexpected when Paul Bunyan is on the line. With so many memorable moments from recent installments of this rivalry, it’s not unreasonable to think Saturday’s game will be a close one.
But it won’t be. Not with this year’s talent discrepancy. Not with the state of this year’s Michigan State program. Not when one of these teams hasn’t won a game since September.
The Spartans have allowed an average of over 400 yards and 34 points per game since the beginning of October, while opponents have outscored them by 86 points during that stretch. The rumors of Mark Dantonio’s potential exit or, more likely, retirement are well-documented.
Michigan has a clear upper-hand at every position group besides defensive line, where the pendulum can really swing either way in this one.
One might argue that Michigan State is going to play its best football today in its final meaningful game of the season. Even if the Spartans do, it won’t even be enough to cover today’s spread. If the Wolverines can go up by double-digits early in the first half, there’s a chance the demoralized Spartans call it quits.