No. 6 Michigan football at No. 8 Michigan State game preview

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Michigan Football, Cade McNamara
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Keys to victory for both Michigan football and Michigan State football.

Michigan State football’s key to victory on offense will lie in the hands of their offensive line. If MSU manages to halt Michigan’s aggressive pass rush and open holes for Kenneth Walker III, they will expose the weak points in Michigan’s defense and likely control the pace of the game. On defense, Michigan State must stop the run. If you force Michigan to throw the ball in the cold Michigan air of late October, you’re in good shape.

On Michigan’s sideline, the keys to victory are much more straightforward.

Michigan football’s defense must prevent big plays and force Michigan State into long and inconsistent drives. If you can prevent MSU from scoring fast and early, you control the pace of the game.

On offense, Michigan football must find a way to establish the run early. Getting MSU on their heels will allow Cade McNamara to have breathing room and likely force the defense to give up yards. Establishing the run against a team like MSU will also help the Wolverines control the pace of the game and wear down the Spartan defense.

The year 2021 marks a new chapter in the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry. Both teams are undefeated and ranked in the top-10, both with heavily touted recruiting classes coming in and both on the rise in college football.

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Though this may be the first of many epic match-ups between Harbaugh’s Wolverines and Tuckers Spartans, expect an absolute battle on October 30, in a game that could come down to who has the ball last.