Crystal Ball Week 6

Spring practice is now a memory and fans are counting down until camp opens up in August. In our Spartan Digest Crystal Ball the Spartans are sitting with a record of 5-0 heading into Michigan Week. How does Spartan Digest see this contest ending up? We look into our crystal ball.

Michigan (Sat. Oct 9, 2010) Michigan Stadium

2009 Record: 5-7 BIG TEN 1-7

Last Game Against MSU: 2009 Score: 26-20 (OT) Spartan Win

Look at any newsstand and you'll see Tate Forcier at the front man for Michigan. By the time the Wolverines hit Spartan Stadium, Forcier will be fighting just to get on the field as Denard Robinson has pushed his way to the number one spot on the depth chart.

Head Coach Rich Rodriguez knows this is the season he must put the Wolverines back to their winning ways and a victory over Michigan State will help in his quest to keep his job in Ann Arbor.

Spartan fans need to be weary as Rodriguez has the type of quarterback he knows how to win with. While his overall offensive talent is low, he does have a few key young parts in wide receiver Roy Roundtree and offensive lineman Patrick Omameh.

The Spartan defensive staff knows they'll see more of the offense they saw when they coached against Rodriguez when both staffs worked in the Big East. Robinson will be the key as he'll look to capture what Pat White did for Rodriguez at West Virginia. The Spartans will look to force Robinson into passing situations and shut down Roundtree forcing others to step up and make plays.

With back-to-back poor defensive performances Rodriguez is looking for help by getting more athletes on the field in the 3-3-5 scheme he used at West Virginia. But the loss of Brandon Graham, Stevie Brown and Donovan Warren will put pressure on young players like Cameron Gordon and Thomas Gordon to step up and make plays.

If the spring proved anything, it's the loss of Zoltan Mesko will be felt until a replacement can be found. Mesko was as good of a punter as anyone in the country, and could change field position when things didn't go right for the Wolverines offense.

While this game is always one that can go either way, the Wolverines will be hard pressed to keep the Spartans from heading back to East Lansing with another victory in the 2010 season. Crystal Ball Prediction: Spartans Win – 31 – 21.

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