Michigan vs Michigan State. In the state of Michigan, there is no bigger game, and this year’s game has huge meaning for both teams – especially the Michigan Wolverines.
According to SB Nation, the memory of how the Wolverines lost to the Spartans last season is one for the ages — joys and jubilation for the Spartan faithful, and utter disbelief for Wolverines fans. The replays of the final play of last year’s game have been and will be played for decades to come. Michigan punter Blake O’Neill bobbled the snap, fumbled the ball, and Michigan State’s Jalen Watts-Jackson rumble 38 yards for the winning score as time expired, capping off one of the wildest finishes in college football history.
Now the Wolverines want to settle the score.
MSU has defeated Michigan in seven of the last eight times they met, but if the Spartans pull off the victory today, it will be one of the biggest upsets of the season in college football
Head coach Jim Harbaugh has Michigan playing at a very high level right now, and this game vs. the Spartans has been circled on the Wolverines schedule by the entire Michigan team since the day after the previous season’s last second crazy defeat.
Dymonte Thomas, a senior safety for Michigan, was on the field when that play took place in the big house last season. Thomas has replayed that final play in his mind so many times over the following week, and it was virtually on his mind 24/7.
“I was on the field when that play happened,” Thomas said after last week’s 41-8 trouncing of Illinois. “I just couldn’t believe what took place, and we had that bye week after, and during that whole bye week that’s the only thing I thought about. I couldn’t think about anything else and couldn’t wait to get revenge. “Next Saturday, we’ve got our chance and our opportunity, and so I’m just excited and ready to go out and play with these guys. I love my teammates, and I love the way that we are playing together, and it’s going to be fun playing next Saturday, especially since it’s a rivalry game.”
While this game is big in the state of Michigan every year, no matter what each teams’ records are, today’s tilt will have both defenses hitting a little harder than normal.
The Wolverines enter this game ranked No. 2 in the country, and of course, they want to avenge “fumble-gate 2015.” Michigan knows if they finish undefeated, or with one loss, they have a great chance to make the NCAA playoffs.
As for the Spartans, no one could have predicted that they would be 2-5 on the season after seven games. They are out of the running for a playoff berth and most likely out of a shot at the Big Ten championship, but they will be ready for Michigan. This game is like a playoff game for the Spartans, who could end their five-game losing streak by upsetting the heavily favored Wolverines.
Las Vegas oddsmakers have Michigan listed as a 24-point favorite, with the over/under point total set at 53.
That is a huge spread for a Michigan vs. Michigan State game, but this game has all of the potential to get ugly fast. MSU will be up for the game, especially playing at home. However, with revenge on their minds and riding a hot streak, look for the Wolverines to win this one by two touchdowns or more. Twenty-four is a lot of points to lay, but Michigan should flirt with covering in the end.
Prediction: Michigan 38, MSU 17
Today’s game in East Lansing is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET and will air live nationally on ESPN and the ESPN family of networks. Live streaming feed for today’s Michigan vs Michigan State battle can be seen via ESPN3 and Watch ESPN.
[Featured Image by Gregory Shemus/Getty Images]