What does Michigan State need to do in order to walk out of the "Big House" with victory that could turn their season around?
We take a look at five keys for the Spartans to have a chance to earn their fifth consecutive win over their biggest rival and fifth game of the season.
KEY NO.1 – Take The Crowd Out Of The Game Early
Michigan fans are ready to pounce on the Spartans if they falter on the field after dropping four consecutive games against their instate rival. The Spartans must take the Wolverine faithful out of the game early by stopping the Maize and Blue from getting their offense started and taking an early lead.
KEY NO.2 – Put Together A Solid Offensive Drive Early
The Spartans offense has been struggling with injuries along the offensive line and at tight end. However, there are enough weapons for the Spartans to come out early and get a solid drive that puts points on the scoreboard.
KEY NO.3 – Keep The Wolverines Offense From Getting Started
Everyone knows the Wolverines offense starts with senior quarterback Denard Robinson. Last season the Spartans held the speedy quarterback to only 42 net rushing yards on the ground and 9-of-24 for 123 yards in the air with one interception while sacking him four times. A repeat performance would go a long way in helping the Spartans leave Ann Arbor with the win.
KEY NO.4 – Play Physical – Play Smart
Some call it physical, some call it playing dirty. Rivalry games bring out the best and worst in some and while there is sure to be some pushing and shoving between these two teams when they take the field, Michigan State must keep their physical style of play while staying smart. Last year's 13 penalties must not be repeated.
KEY NO.5 – Get A Key Defensive Turnover
The last two seasons the Spartans have used key defensive turnovers to help them win games. Last season Isaiah Lewis intercepted a Robinson pass in the fourth quarter for a 39-yard touchdown return. Last weekend the lack of making such a play enabled Iowa to win the game.