By: Pat Caputo
When the college football season began, this state was the only in the country with two teams ranked in the Top 13 nationally. Michigan was 8th and Michigan State 13th. Since then, neither team has lived up to its advanced billing. The Wolverines were blown out by Alabama and sputtered at Notre Dame. The Spartans have lost three times, to Notre Dame, Ohio State and Iowa, and were less-than-impressive in wins over Eastern Michigan and Indiana.
Michigan should win Saturday in Ann Arbor.
Here are 3 reasons why:
1 Motivation – After four years of hearing about losses to MSU, the Wolverines have been pointing to this game for a long time. They have beaten Notre Dame and Ohio State in recent years. They have had an 11-win season and won a BCS bowl game. What they haven’t done seemingly forever is beat MSU. The fact the Spartans are down only means the Wolverines would love even more to kick ’em.
2. MSU’s offense is struggling while Michigan’s defense is improving – The Wolverines linebacking corps of Desmond Morgan, Jake Ryan and Kenny Demens figures to make it difficult for MSU’s talented back Le’Veon Bell to run. And, honestly, does anybody think the Spartans passing game is capable of carrying them offensively?
3. Home field advantage – The game is in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines have yet to lose at The Big House since Brady Hoke became head coach, a perfect 11-0 record.