Bob Wojnowski and John Niyo preview the Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry with Chris Howard and Nick Hill. The Detroit News
Matt Charboneau, Angelique S. Chengelis, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Saturday’s Michigan vs. Michigan State game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor (noon, Fox/760, 950).
► Matt Charboneau: The road team has won the last four in this series, but for that trend to continue things will have to make a dramatic shift. The Wolverines have been rolling for the better part of the last three games while the Spartans have lost four in a row after last week’s collapse. Emotion always plays a big role in this game but momentum counts, too, and things couldn’t be going much worse for the Spartans. If Michigan reverts to early-season issues with turning the ball over, this could get interesting. Otherwise, expect the home team to finally win one in this series. Michigan 27, Michigan State 17
► Angelique S. Chengelis: On paper, yes, I think Michigan is the superior team, and the Wolverines have momentum on their side, the product of 10 quarters without a turnover and a run game and offense that have come alive. Everyone points to the second half at Penn State as a turning point, and a week later the dominance over Notre Dame turned heads. Michigan State is reeling, but here's the thing – that makes an already dangerous team in an in-state rivalry that much more dangerous. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday praised MSU coach Mark Dantonio for being a masterful motivator. I don't think he was being disingenuous. After all, everyone has seen what Dantonio has done to get his team motivated. Both teams always fight hard in this one, and that won't change. Michigan 21, Michigan State 10
► John Niyo: Anything’s possible in a rivalry game, but it’ll take an about-face from both teams to allow an upset in this one. Michigan’s ground game is finally in gear, which means Shea Patterson & Co. will put up points unless the turnover problems resurface. And I’m not sure Michigan State has the big-play capability to cover up all its holes — and some of the inevitable negative plays against Don Brown’s aggressive scheme — on the other side of the ledger. Michigan 28, Michigan State 7
► Bob Wojnowski: Michigan is better, healthier and playing at home, while the Spartans seem demoralized after four straight losses, including an utter collapse against Illinois. But Mark Dantonio always has his team ready for this one, and the defense is still stout enough to keep it close, for a while. Jim Harbaugh hasn’t beaten the Spartans in the Big House, but as long as the Wolverines don’t turn it over, their defense should overwhelm Michigan State’s decimated offense. Michigan 31, Michigan State 10
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