It's finally here.
All the talking and the gloating will finally be played out on the football field on Saturday as in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State are set to square off in East Lansing. With the Spartans reeling this season, the Wolverines are poised to take advantage of the Spartans' struggles and leave with a victory in enemy territory.
The Michigan Insider previews the upcoming game on Saturday.
Last Meeting: Michigan State defeated Michigan 27-23 in Ann Arbor last season.
What a win means for Michigan: While it certainly won't remove the stench of the previous losses the Wolverines have suffered against the Spartans, it's definitely a step in the right direction. With all of the Spartan losses this season, the game had lost a bit of its luster in regards to standings in the conference. The Wolverines control its own destiny in the conference and beyond, a win over MSU not only gets the weight off its shoulders in regards to the past, it's also a necessary step towards Big Ten championship aspirations.
What a win means for Michigan State: MSU is heading into this game wanting to be the spoiler. Fans have seen firsthand that anything can happen in a rivalry and nothing can be counted. A victory over the Wolverines on Saturday salvages a poor season for Michigan State. A victory likely derails the Wolverines' season and will continue the in-state football rivalry dominance the Spartans have earned in recent memory.
Player to watch: Since MSU has difficulties moving the ball through the air this season, all eyes will be on running back LJ Scott on Saturday. With the way the U-M defense has been performing, the running game might be the only way the Spartans will be able to move the football. Even that is a stretch as the Wolverines have one of, if not the best, defensive lines in the nation. After finishing last season strong, Scott hasn't had much of the same success as many thought he would being the clear number one back. Of course he shares the load with multiple backs like U-M does, but he will be counted on this weekend. Scott has 464 yards rushing and three touchdowns this season.
What they're saying: Video courtesy of Michigan State Athletics' YouTube page