Spartans Top Wolverines For Third Straight Year, 34-17

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Spartans Improve To 6-0, Dominate Michigan At Big House

Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) – Edwin Baker, Le’Veon Bell, and Larry Caper recorded one rushing touchdown apiece, as the 17th-ranked Michigan State Spartans handled the 18th-ranked Michigan Wolverines, 34-17, in a battle between these two Big Ten rivals at Michigan Stadium.

Baker carried the ball 22 times for 147 yards for the Spartans (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten), who have won three straight games against Michigan for the first time since 1965-67. Bell rushed for 78 yards on seven carries.

Kirk Cousins completed 18-of-25 passes for 284 yards and a touchdown in the annual battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Mark Dell hauled in three passes for 93 yards and a score.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio returned to the team after missing the previous two games. A mild heart attack and a blood clot in his leg led to multiple trips to the hospital for Dantonio, who coached from the press box on Saturday.

Heisman Trophy candidate Denard Robinson connected on 17-of-29 passes for 215 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions for the Wolverines (5-1, 1-1), who own a 67-31-5 edge in the all-time series despite the loss. Robinson also carried the ball 21 times for 86 yards and a score.

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Michigan Vs. Michigan State: Preview

(From The Sports Network)

GAME NOTES: The annual battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy takes on added significance this year as the 17th-ranked Michigan State Spartans head to Ann Arbor to take on the 18th-ranked Michigan Wolverines.

Both teams come in sporting identical 5-0 records, and the winner has the early edge when looking ahead to challenging for the Big Ten title.

This is the first game for Michigan State in hostile territory, as its only other game outside of East Lansing took place in Detroit against Florida Atlantic on September 11th in what was officially a road game, although you certainly couldn't tell by the MSU faithful that made the trek to the Motor City.

The Spartans could be playing their third straight game without head coach Mark Dantonio on the sidelines as he was just released from the hospital for the second time in the last few weeks. First, it was a mild heart attack suffered after State's overtime win against Notre Dame, and then late last week it was a blood clot in his leg. Dantonio recently said he expects to be at least in the press box for this game. Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell has guided the Spartans to victories over both Northern Colorado (45-7) and Wisconsin (34-24), the latter coming last week in the league lidlifter.

Michigan is fresh off a conference-opening win of its own, having outlasted a pesky Indiana squad in Bloomington last weekend, 42-35. The Wolverines, under the direction of third-year head coach Rich Rodriguez, have performed well offensively this year, scoring no fewer than 30 points only once in five games, hitting the 42-point mark twice and even getting to 65 points in a rout of Bowling Green in their final non-conference bout of the regular season.

The Maize and Blue are 3-0 at home this season, and will play three of their next four in Ann Arbor starting with this game against one of their most bitter rivals.

Michigan owns a 67-30-5 edge in the all-time series with Michigan State, and is 34-21-2 in the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The Spartans, however, are the current owners of the trophy thanks to wins in each of the last two encounters. The home team has won 14 of the last 18 meetings.

Kirk Cousins threw for 269 yards and three TDs to lead the Spartans past visiting Wisconsin last weekend. When it came time to grind out some tough yards on the ground, running backs Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell were up to the task, combining for 162 yards. Mark Dell led all receivers in the game with six catches for 91 yards and a score. The Spartans, who claimed a near-13 minute advantage in time of possession, outgained the Badgers by a 444-229 margin.

With Baker (107.2 ypg, five TDs), Bell (94.2 ypg, seven TDs) and Cousins (226.4 ypg, nine TDs, four INTs) all performing at such a high level, it's no wonder the Spartans are among the league leaders in most statistical categories. MSU averages 36.2 points and 460.6 total yards per contest, converting nearly 40 percent of its third-down tries and scoring on 85 percent of its trips to the red zone.

On the other side of the ball, the Spartans have gotten solid seasons from several players, including Greg Jones (41 stops) and Chris Rucker (37 stops). Jones also paces the club in TFLs with five and INTs with two. Overall, the MSU defense is yielding just 18.6 ppg. Foes have found it particularly tough to run the ball against the Spartans, doing so for only 101.2 ypg. Only three of the opposition's 12 offensive TDs have come on the ground.

It was actually the other way around in last week's bout with Wisconsin, as the Badgers tallied 165 yards rushing but only 127 passing. Jones and Trenton Robinson each tallied eight stops in the win, with the former making three tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Coach Treadwell was asked about the adversity the Spartans have faced this season, "You kind of take it one day at a time with where we are now. I think, I mentioned it maybe a week ago -- that one of the biggest reasons is that all the young men on our football team that are sitting in the front row that are seniors, four years ago they sat in the back row. Now you fast forward and they have been through coach Dantonio's system. He continued, "Dantonio has planted some tremendous seeds in our young men, and they believe in that. It has been kind of neat to see it flourish in front of our eyes."

Denard Robinson accounted for 494 yards of total offense (217 rushing, career- best 277 passing) and scored the game-winning TD late in the fourth quarter as Michigan survived a scare from Indiana last weekend. Robinson, who has run for 100 yards in all five games this season, led the Wolverines to their 17th straight win over the Hoosiers. WR Roy Roundtree matched his career high with 126 receiving yards, and he scored once, while Junior Hemingway made the most of his three grabs, taking them for 129 yards and a TD. Michigan won the game despite holding possession of the ball for just over 18 minutes.

Robinson has tossed his name into the early Heisman talk by throwing for 1,008 yards, seven TDs and only one INT, while rushing for a Big Ten-best 905 yards and eight scores. Roundtree is far and away the team's most productive pass catcher, having reeled in 25 balls for 337 yards and two TDs to this point.

Indiana head coach Bill Lynch praised Robinson and the explosiveness he brings to the table for Michigan, "He's just a great athlete. He's one of those guys that's just different. He's got speed. He's got awareness. He's got instincts and he's a very, very good passer as well. You can see it on film getting ready for him, but on the field you sense the same thing. Some athletes are just different. They have not only talent, but competitiveness and a sense of how to play the game."

Indiana picked up a whopping 35 first downs in the game, doing so primarily by way of the pass which accounted for 480 yards and three TDs. Michigan's effort against the run was much better, yielding just 88 net yards, although the Hoosiers did score twice on the ground. Cameron Gordon led the Wolverine defense with 15 tackles, of which 12 were solo efforts, and he also had an INT. J.T. Floyd added a career-high 13 tackles and Jonas Mouton finished with a dozen.

Coach Rodriguez spoke about the disparity in the stats following the Indiana game, "The stats are interesting, huh? 35 first downs for them to 15 for us. They ran 98 plays to 45 for us. I don't like seeing that. But the most important one is the win so we'll take that. Any Big Ten road win is a good win. We still have to know that we have to play a lot better. But we made the plays when we had to and got the win."

Through five games, Michigan is allowing 25.4 points and 433.6 total yards per game, while producing 41.4 points and 565 yards per outing. Mouton is the team's top tackler with 47, but Jordan Kovacs is right there with 46. The Wolverines have come up with seven INTs thus far and 30 TFLs.

Robinson is the key to everything the Wolverines do on offense, and him staying healthy and productive will keep Michigan in the Big Ten title hunt all season. That said, expect the Spartans to put their best foot forward in an attempt to knock off their most hated rival and remain perfect on the season. In the end, the home field advantage coupled with Robinson's exploits under center will be the difference in what should be a physical game from start to finish.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan 34, Michigan State 27

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Michigan State Depth Chart For Michigan Game

Below is Michigan State's depth chart for Saturday's game against Michigan.

OFFENSE
Pos. First String Second String Third String
QB Kirk Cousins Andrew Maxwell
TB Edwin Baker or
Le'Veon Bell or
Larry Caper
FB Nick Bendzuck TyQuan Hammock Fred Smith
X Mark Dell or
Keith Nichol
Donald Spencer
Z B.J. Cunningham or
Keshawn Martin
Bennie Fowler
TE Charlie Gantt Brian Linthicum Derek Hoebing
Drew Stevens
LT D.J. Young David Barrent
LG Joel Foreman Ethan Ruhland
C John Stipek Nate Klatt
RG Chris McDonald Micajah Reynolds
RT J'Michael Deane Jared McGaha
DEFENSE
Pos. First String Second String Third String
DE Tyler Hoover Jonathan Strayhorn or
William Gholston
DT Jerel Worthy Anthony Rashad White or
Dan France
NT Blake Treadwell or
Kevin Pickelman
RE Colin Neely or
Denzel Drone
Todd Anderson or
Corey Freeman
SAM Eric Gordon Steve Gardiner
MIKE Greg Jones Max Bullough
STAR Jon Misch or
Chris Norman
Denicos Allen
FC Johnny Adams Darqueze Dennard Dana Dixon
BC
Chris L. Rucker Mitchell White Chris D. Rucker
FS Trenton Robinson Isaiah Lewis Jesse Johnson
SS Marcus Hyde Jairus Jones
SPECIAL TEAMS
Pos. First String Second String Third String
K Dan Conroy Kevin Muma
P Aaron Bates Kyle Selden or
Mike Sadler
KR Keshawn Martin
Le'Veon Bell
Trenton Robinson Larry Caper
PR Keshawn Martin Marl Dell
KO Kevin Muma Dan Conroy
LS Alex Shackleton Jon Stipek
HLD Aaron bates
Kirk Cousins
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Michigan Depth Chart For Michigan State Game

Below is Michigan's depth chart for Saturday's game against Michigan State. (Note: Fitzgerald Toussaint was taken off the depth chart since he isn't going to play because of a shoulder injury.)

OFFENSE
Pos. First String Second String Third String
QB Denard Robinson Devin Gardner or
Tate Forcier
SB Vincent Smith or
Michael Shaw
Michael Cox Stephen Hopkins
Teric Jones
FB John McColgan
X Darryl Stonum Jeremy Jackson or
Je'Ron Stokes
Y Roy Roundtree Kelvin Grady Terrence Robinson
Jeremy Gallon
Z Martavious Odoms or
Junior Hemingway
Je'Ron Stokes
TE Kevin Koger Martell Webb Brandon Moore
LT Taylor Lewan Mark Huyge
LG Stephen Schilling Ricky Barnum
C David Molk Rocko Khoury
RG Patrick Omameh Quinton Washington Elliott Mealer
RT Perry Dorrestein Michael Schofield
DEFENSE
Pos. First String Second String Third String
DE Ryan Van Bergen Jibreel Black Steve Watson
NT Mike Martin Adam Patterson William Campbell
DT Greg Banks Renaldo Sagesse
OLB Craig Roh Brandon Herron or
J.B. Fitzgerald
MLB Obi Ezeh or
Mark Moundros
Kenny Demens
WLB Jonas Mouton Kevin Leach
HYB Thomas Gordon or
Carvin Johnson
Floyd Simmons
LCB J.T. Floyd Courtney Avery
RCB James Rogers Terrence Talbott or
Cullen Christian
FS Cameron Gordon Ray Vinopal
SS Jordan Kovacs Marvin Robinson
SPECIAL TEAMS
Pos. First String Second String Third String
K Brendan Gibbons or
Seth Broekhuizen
P Will Hagerup Seth Broekhuizen
KR Darryl Stonum Martavious Odoms or
Terrence Robinson or
Jeremy Gallon
PR Jeremy Gallon Martavious Odoms or
Terrence Robinson
KO Brendan Gibbons or
Seth Broekhuizen
LS Tom Pomarico Jareth Glanda
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Michigan Vs. Michigan State: Coverage Map

Via HD Sports Guide, below is the coverage map for Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State game.

101009_330pm_medium

Those in the yellow will be able to watch the Michigan-Michigan State game on ABC. If you're in the blue or green, the game will be shown on ESPN. It isn't clear if it will be in HD or not on ESPN, but at the very least you will be able to watch it in SD.

UPDATE: Here is the HD/SD coverage map:

Michiganmsu_medium

Basically, if you're out of the ABC region and are forced to watch the game on ESPN, you won't get it in HD, which kind of sucks.

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