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5 predictions on the 2022 Michigan v. Michigan State game

It’s rivalry week here in the great Mitten State. The week where all the preseason trash talk comes to light, where we find out if Michigan is really “scUM’ or if Michigans State is really the “little brother”. To find out if Tuck is still comin’, or if Jim Harbaugh can beat his in-state rival. Talk can be cheap; it’s almost time to find out on the gridiron. What can we really expect from this 2022 Michigan v. Michigan State rivalry?

How will the 2022 Michigan v. Michigan State game go?

There is not much up to this point with either of these two teams that should be a surprise to either fan base. Expectations for both teams by this point have been set, shattered, or achieved. As fans, we should know what our respected side will bring to this game but is there more? What as fans can we expect from both sides? Here is 5 predictions on the Michigan verse Michigan State game.

Jayden Reed will have a breakout game

It’s not a hard sell to say that Michigan State’s senior wide receiver Jayden Reed may be the biggest playmaker on the field for both teams. Reed also has the best connection to best friend and quarterback Peyton Thorne going back to their childhood and high school, but is he ready to have a big game and break Michigan fans’ hearts all around the country? The simple fact is that Reed is a very explosive player who can turn a short gain into a big play, and he has the opportunity to have a big game Saturday. This year, Per ESPN, Reed has 32 receptions, 373 yards, and 3 touchdowns, most of which came in his last game verse Wisconsin where he had 9 receptions, 117 yards, and 1 touchdown. Reed has also been having a big month in October where according to ESPN he has had 20 of his 30 receptions, 245 of his 373 yards, and all 3 of his touchdowns. This is clearly going to be the best defense that Reed and the Michigan State offense have seen all year, but Reed has been getting hot at the right time and is primed and ready for a big game Saturday.

Blake Corum will have his Heisman moment

Blake Corum is off to a fantastic start to the season as the Michigans Wolverines lead back, but can he have his Heisman moment and make himself the frontrunner in voters’ minds? So far this season Corum has rushed for 901 yards, 13 touchdowns, and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry, according to ESPN. Which has him fourth in the Heisman odds so far. Per PFF, Michigan has the second-ranked run offense highlighted by Corum and this dominant offensive line. On the other side of the ball, Michigan State is ranked the 85th run defense out of 131 teams. The advanced stats are setting Corum up to have a major game that could launch him further into the Heisman conversation. It’s no secret to anyone around the country that the Michigan offense is centered around Corum and this run game, so expecting anything different would be a shock to anyone.

The Michigan State pass rush could give the Michigans’ offensive line some trouble

It’s a surprise to many that Michigan States’ defense is struggling once again under defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton. This game against Michigan could be a big turning point for the rest of the season for this defense and most importantly this defensive line. Per Pff, Michigan’s offensive pass blocking ranks 32 out of 131, and Michigan States’ pass rush ranks 76 out of 131. The gap is not as large as some would expect, but Michigan State has to create pressure in order to keep this Michigan offense on its toes. Michigan States’ defensive line is led by Jacoby Windmon who is leading the team with 5.5 sacks this season and is 6th on the team in total tackles with 37, according to ESPN. If this defense wants to step up and cause some trouble, throwing Michigan out of rhythm, then Windmon needs to play like he was at the start of the year. This is a statement game for this Sparty defense, to find their identity for the rest of the season.

J.J. McCarthy could have a career-defining day

The former 5-star prospect J.J. McCarthy has a chance to make up for his 2 fumbles in last year’s game. So far this season McCarthy has 1,297 yards passing, 9 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a QBR of 81.2, according to ESPN. This week McCarthy has the chance to have possibly the biggest game of his young career. Per PFF, Michigan Stae has the 113th-ranked secondary out of 131, which in simple terms means it’s not very good. So far this year McCarthy has 4 games with 200+ passing yards and this weekend should be more of the same. Behind one of the best offensive lines in the country, it’s time to let J.J. cook, shock the world, throw the ball downfield, use play-action more, and let the 5-star be a 5-star. The advanced stats are showing that McCarthy can and should have a big day.

Score prediction

Both sides are hoping that this game goes in their favor, so Paul Bunyon can go to its ” rightful home.” So that one side can back up the trash-talking from the offseason and can continue to trash-talk for another 365 days (or until basketball season). With every factor considered, Michigan being at home, a night game, the records of both teams, and basically all that is thrown out the window because this is a rivalry game, and anything can happen. I predict that the final score will be Michigan 42 Michigan State 14. Happy hate week everyone!

Written by Matt Reilly

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