Michigan State at #7 Michigan
Time: 6:30 PM (CT), Saturday
Spread: MICH -10.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Michigan Wolverines are 4-0 this season and possessors of a No. 7 AP ranking. The Wolverines will host in-state rival Michigan State Saturday at 6:30 (Central) on ABC as 10.5-point favorites. The over/under is set low at just 40 total points according to college football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
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Michigan defeated then-No. 17 Florida 33-17 in Week 1, and since has defeated Cincinnati, Air Force, and Purdue. It will face a much-improved Indiana team next week before squaring off against No. 4 ranked Penn State Oct. 21st. The Wolverines have a chance enter that game a strong 6-0 against a team that it will need to surmount if it is to find its way to a BCS Playoff this season.
Michigan has got steady play from its quarterbacks, with Wilton Speight having thrown for 581 yards and three TDs with two interceptions. Intriguingly, backup John O’Korn has a 70.4 percent completion ratio, 11.37 yards per reception and a 170.7 passer rating, but O’Korn was huge in last week’s win over Purdue as he threw 18 of 26 for 270 yards.
Speight is due to miss multiple weeks, and O’Korn has a proven track record as a NCAA quarterback. Defensively, Michigan is getting outstanding play from DE Chase Winovich, who has eight tackles, including 3.5 for loss, and he had 2.5 sacks against Purdue last week to tally ‘five’ on the season. That ranks No. 2 in the nation. DB Nate Johnson was charged with domestic violence and dismissed from the team on Wednesday.
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Michigan State WR Felton Davis was named the Big Ten’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week after catching nine passes for 114 yards and two TDs in the win over Iowa last week. Brian Lewerke threw for 212 yards and two TDs while rushing for another 42 yards. He has 248 rushing yards on the season, which ranks tops of Big Ten QBs.
Senior running back Gerald Holmes has rushed for 1,120 yards and 13 TDs in his career, but this season he has just 105 yards on 27 attempts (3.9 yards-per-carry). Lewerke averages 6.5 yards per attempt, but only Darrell Stewart Jr. (10 carries for 101 yards) has done well on a per-rush average, with the team tallying just 4.5 yards-per-carry. Stewart has also caught the second-most passes (17) and ranks No. 2 in receiving yards with 170.
Michigan State has won seven of the past nine meetings against Michigan. The Wolverines lead the nation in defensive yardage, allowing just 203.3 per game, while also leading the nation in sacks per game (4.5).
This is the first night game in the 110 meetings between these teams, and Michigan is simply a much better football team than the Spartans this season, so expect the trend to reverse as Michigan snags its third win in the past 10.