GBMWolverine: Michigan Football -- Michigan at Michigan State -- Predictions

Posted at 4:00pm — 10/14/2011

GBMWolverine: Michigan Football — Michigan at Michigan State — Predictions

After reading our predictions for the Michigan State game come to our message board and make your prediction and comment on what you believe will happen Saturday in East Lansing at Spartan Stadium.


I am so confused, heart is telling me Michigan has it going their way.

Damn head is screaming on the road against a superior defense.

Head wins this week.

Michigan 28
Michigan State 34


After reading Yost’s prediction, I agree with much of his substance. Michigan can win this rivalry game, but much needs to go the way of the Wolverines. MSU has had two weeks to get healthy and prepare, the game is at East Lansing, the experience factor falls to the Spartans, the passing game may or may not fall to the Spartans. Michigan has Denard Robinson and do not sell that factor short, having the X-factor on your side is nice.

The Spartan defense is nationally ranked, but Notre Dame showed what can happen on a good day for the opponent. All in all I am surprised the spread was 3, I was expecting 7.

The brain says Michigan State and I want to to be very wrong about this prediction. Michigan will need to play a great game and I believe every player that sees the field understands this precept. Michigan must stop the run and limit the damage from the Sparty passing game. Bend plenty, give up few big plays, be sound on special teams, and above all win the turnover battle.

Michigan 17
Michigan State 24


After the first road game of the year last weekend a lot of people saw several bumps in the road especially in the first half. Michigan cannot afford all those mistakes to happen and be in the game in the second half.

Believe we will find out in this game who is for real. Both Michigan and Michigan State have a lot of question marks and right now the only thing you can really compare them to is the Notre Dame since both have played them. Can you take anything from that game is the real question because Notre Dame was a turnover machine early on and without those turnovers Notre Dame would likely be undefeated right now.

Michigan State came off a bye week which depending on what coach you talk to like a bye game before a big game while others would rather keep the momentum going (assuming your doing well) and have the bye week after a big game/emotional game. Will we see a little rust from Michigan State early or did they fix some of their issues with the off week.

Is Michigan State’s defense that good? That is the real question. They are ranked #1 in total defense and will be interesting how Denard, Coach Borges does against them. Michigan needs a running game from other backs besides Denard to be effective and keep Michigan State back on their toes.

Cannot allow the defensive backs to creep towards the line of scrimmage trying to stop Denard or the running game so that means Michigan must be effective in the passing game early and often.

Is Michigan’s offense that good? We will find out against one of the better defensive’s units we will face all year and right now have the stats to back it up. Can Michigan sustain drives to make plays and keep drives going.

Is Michigan State’s running game that bad? Seems like they do enough to win games, but in this rivalry for nearly the last forty years whoever runs the ball better usually wins the game. Some stat I believe like the winner with more running yards have won this game. Michigan State has some issues on the offensive line, but can Michigan capitalize on it and not have to send 5-6 players to get pressure on Cousins. If they can consistently get pressure with only rushing 4 players will make it easier on the Michigan secondary who will most likely be tested early and often.

Can the Michigan defense make them one-dimensional? If they can that means they can put more pressure on Cousins and pin their ears back and try and rattle his cage. If he gets comfortable he does quite well, but seems when he gets hit, gets pressured he starts to really break down and doesn’t do as well.

A lot of questions and by the time this game is over we might have a few more answers for both teams. This game could decide who might be playing in the first ever Big Ten Championship game from the Legends division.

If this game was at Michigan Stadium I would feel a lot better about it, but playing at Spartan Stadium makes my choice one of those head vs. heart decisions once again and this time still going to go with my heart and hope Michigan finds some magic out of the hat and get the “W”. Think this game is a close game and could come down to the last drive or last play of the game a lot like Notre Dame this season. Let’s hope for the same results.

Michigan 32
Michigan State 30


No prediction this week. Hope the streak continues.

Mike Fitzpatrick:

Measuring Stick? Rivalry Game? Signature game? Yes, Yes & maybe. We all knew coming into this season that the Spartans were among the best in The Big 10. What we’ve seen so far from Sparty is a struggling offense, primarily due to a young & injured O line, and a better than expected Defense. So…before I give you my prediction this week, here is my prevailing thought. Offense sells tickets, but defense wins games & championships. Right….I know you’ve heard that before, but it’s as true today as it ever was. Spread, Shotgun, Pro Style, Single Wing, Pro Set, T Formation, it doesn’t matter how sexy or complicated the game gets. Look around, the teams at the top have one thing in common. They can STOP or slow down whatever kind of offense you throw at them.

The Spartan offense has been able to sputter because their defense compensates nicely for their lack of production. I just think the Spartans, as a team, are a little bit ahead of us right now. On Saturday Michigan will meet the first defense this year that is “physically” capable of taking Denard out of the game and making us use other weapons. Can we do that? That to me is the question. We know the running game is emerging, but still lacks a consistent GO TO kind of back. Denard’s footwork and timing in the passing game is still very scary at times. We need to spread the ball around in both the passing and running game, and most importantly, DO NOT TURN IT OVER. No lollipop front foot passes thrown up for jump balls. Make State beat us, don’t help them.

On Defense we need to be strong at the point of attack in the trenches. State wants to run the ball. If they can, it will open the door for their beloved play action passes. So…be strong up front, stay in your lanes, and tackle. If we can do that we will be in this game with a chance to win.

My heart tells me we can accomplish all of the above and win this game, and stop those annoying Sparty fans from from thumping their chest for another year. As Bob Ufer used to say, I’ve never seen fans get more mileage from one victory than MSU does when they beat us. It’s time for the streak to end! My analytical side tells me it might not be this Saturday though.

Keys to victory. First on offense. Get production from a variety of backs. Get Denard into a rythem in the passing game early, and don’t turn it over. On Defense. We must be physical and stout in the trenches. If State can run the ball….it opens the door for their passing game. This isn’t a space age offense we’re playing against Saturday. The want to punch us in the face with the power game. So…hold the line, tackle well, and be where you are supposed to be on the field.

It’s a lot to ask from a team still finding it’s way. So here it is. As always – I hope I’m wrong and we rise to the occasion. Enjoy it while you can Sparty! Coach Hoke might struggle Saturday…but we are on the way back. GO BLUE!

Michigan 14
Michigan State 24


Game will come down to how we handle the pressure they bring from their Defense and can we stop their run game and make them one dimensional.

Michigan 35
Michigan State 31


Ah yes, the first Statement Game Michigan plays this season. Time to separate the men from the boys and back all of the smack talk this week. (side-note: see Marcus Ray, his comments in the Detroit news on the MSU game and his upcoming radio interview in studio with WXYT 97.1 radio personality Mike Valenti on Friday.)

Basically, I see this match-up being settled like it always has- whomever controls the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and whomever controls the running game wins.

MSU should have the edge in those categories AND also holds home field advantage. They are rumored to be more physical, better balanced on offense, and ferocious on defense.

Michigan has to find a way to solve the Spartan defense early and take the crowd out- which naturally includes D-Rob being almost perfect. No turnovers and making good ball decisions. Their defense also needs to bottle up the run and force Cousins to throw. No big plays or special teams gaffes. The Spartans have proven they can win a big road game already going down to Columbus and holding a depleted OSU team to 7 points. They have also shown a vulnerability to Notre Dame, a team that dominated Michigan and still found a way to lose. All the elements suggest that Michigan should lose their fourth straight game to MSU- on paper.

Another head over heart decision. I have to stay true to my prediction for the season, though- and I think Brady Hoke’s team is one year away from claiming state superiority again.

I hope that Michigan shows well and gives themselves an opportunity for a signature win. But, my gut feeling is, Michigan doesn’t have the size and depth to match MSU-yet.

Count this as one of the four losses this season- and if I’m wrong I’ll gladly accept it with a maize and blue smile on my face.

Michigan 24
Michigan State 31

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