By Ashley Scoby

The southeastern part of Michigan hasn’t imploded yet, but it might be close. No. 7 Michigan State and No. 12 Michigan are facing off Saturday for in-state bragging rights and a jump in the national polls.

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The Wolverines haven’t fared well in recent matchups with their intrastate rivals: Michigan State has won five of the last six games between the two. And now one of the reasons why Michigan fell off the rails a bit in recent years – former head coach Brady Hoke – has picked the Wolverines to win on Saturday. While he was at the helm in Ann Arbor, Michigan lost three of four games against the Spartans.

Hoke is now a co-host of a Sirius XM radio show with Mark Packer twice a week. And of course, they discussed the coming Armageddon in Michigan.

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“I think this is going to be a great game,” Hoke said. “I think Michigan’s going to win the game. But I also think this is exactly what Mark Dantonio and Michigan State, they feed off of everyone talking about Michigan. That’s just the way their makeup is.”

Hoke also said he thought that each team’s rushing game would impact the outcome, as well as Michigan’s quarterback play.

“I think Michigan State will have a harder time running the football than Michigan will,” he said. “If you’re Michigan State, you want to put the ball in (Jake) Rudock’s hands. That’s where you want the football to see if he can make the plays.”

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Michigan comes into the game this weekend as second nationally in total defense, and first overall in scoring defense (6.3 points/game). Michigan State is 57th in total defense, and 72nd overall in total offense.