3 Keys to Michigan victory over Michigan State

It is Michigan-Michigan State week! The Wolverines are ramping up to host the Spartans on Saturday night. U-M is 4-0 as suspected, and got an extra week of rest because of their bye week. MSU comes in 3-1 after a home win over Iowa to open their Big Ten slate. Let’s take a look at 3 keys to a Michigan victory this Saturday.

1O’KORN BETTER THAN OK

Jim Harbaugh announced earlier this week that John O’Korn will start Saturday for the injured Wilton Speight. O’Korn took over early in the Purdue victory a couple weeks ago and completed 69% of his passes for 270 yards with one interception and this touchdown pass, hitting Zach Gentry in stride and letting the tight end do the rest.

O’Korn’s big day at Purdue impressed his coach.

If O’Korn can keep impressing Harbaugh like that, Michigan will win.

2TOUCHDOWNS NOT FIELD GOALS

Quinn Nordin is the best Michigan kicker since, well, ever. He is the early leader for Big Ten kicker of the year and all future U-M kickers will be compared to him. With that being said, all Michigan fans want to see from Nordin is extra points and kickoffs. If the Wolverines settle for field goals instead of punching it into the end zone, that could mean trouble. That was what they did most of the time in the first three games, but O’Korn led the Wolverines to three red zone touchdowns against Purdue, two more than Speight did in the previous three games combined. If O’Korn can lead the offense to that kind of efficiency on Saturday, Michigan will win.

3STOP THE RUN

via YouTube

Whichever team runs the ball the best tends to win the Michigan-Michigan State game. That is not good news for the Spartans, since the Wolverines are giving up an average of just over 69 yards per game, and that is accounting for the 168 yards that Air Force’s crazy offense put up against them. MSU will desperately try to take the pressure off quarterback Brian Lewerke with a consistent run game, but with monsters in the front seven like Devin Bush, Rashan Gary, and Maurice Hurst, that is not going to be easy. Seriously, would you want to get hit by this big fella?

Michigan State is averaging 187 yards on the ground per game. If the Wolverines can keep them below 120, Michigan will win.

GAMEDAY INFO

  • Date: Saturday, October 7
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Broadcast: ABC | Michigan IMG Sports Network | Spartan Radio Network (Check local listings)
  • Line: MICH -11
  • O/U: 40

DETROIT SPORTS NATION PREDICTIONS

DSN STAFFER PREDICTION
MATT BASSIN MSU, 20-16
DON DRYSDALE MICH, 23-13
ROB OTTO MICH, 20-13
CARL POPOSKI MICH, 24-7
AJ REILLY MICH, 13-6
PAUL ROCHON MICH, 27-13