The 109th edition of Michigan State vs. Michigan happens Saturday in East Lansing. It will have a hard time matching the excitement of No. 108, won by Michigan State, 27-23, on the game’s final play last year in Ann Arbor. But you never know what will happen in rivalry games. This will be the 64th time the teams have played for the Paul Bunyan Trophy.
Michigan State is 2-5 and 0-4 in the Big Ten following a 28-17 loss at Maryland last Saturday, extending its losing streak to five games. Three of those losses have been at home.
Michigan (7-0, 4-0) is ranked No. 2 in the nation and has the inside track on the Big Ten East division following Penn State’s win against Ohio State last weekend. The Wolverines are weary of taking the Spartans too lightly, even if Michigan State is having a down season.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch/listen to the Week 9 matchup:
Michigan State vs. Michigan game time, details
Time: noon (ET) kickoff
Date: Saturday, Oct. 29
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
Weather: High of 66, cloudy, 20-percent chance of rain.
The line: Michigan is favored by 24.5 points
What TV channel is Michigan State vs. Michigan on?
The game will be broadcast on ESPN. The game can also be heard on radio over the 39-affiliate Spartan Sports Network, including flagship stations WMMQ-FM (94.9)/WJIM-AM (1240) in Lansing and WJR-AM (760) in Detroit. You can also follow along on the Landof10.com Live Blog.
How can I watch Michigan State vs. Michigan online?
Who is calling the game?
Bob Wischusen will provide play-by-play for ESPN, with analyst Brock Huard and sideline reporter Allison Williams. The Spartan Sports Network will be led by George Blaha on play-by-play, with analyst Jason Strayhorn and sideline reporter Keith Nichol.
Michigan State is minus-4 this season on turnover margin, while Michigan is plus-7. The Spartans have to hold onto the ball and create turnovers to give themselves a chance to win. They have forced just nine takeaways this season after getting 28 turnovers last year. Michigan has turned the ball over just five times this season, including just two interceptions on 202 pass attempts as a team. This is an area where, if Michigan State can get an unconventional score or just get defensive stops, it can make up for advantages Michigan holds elsewhere.
Can Michigan State’s youth movement stand up to Michigan?
The Spartans had 23 first- or second-year players see the field against Maryland. There were six freshmen – not redshirt freshman – that played on the defense, and it show as the Terrapins finished with 247 yards rushing among its 447 total yards. In years past, it’s been Michigan that has been outmanned by Michigan State when it came to experience, but that is definitely not the case this year.
How does Brian Lewerke deal with Michigan’s pressure?
Lewerke figures to get his third straight start as Tyler O’Connor is still dealing with an ankle injury. The redshirt freshman showed improvement against Maryland in his second start from the week before against Northwestern, but Michigan’s defense will present challenges to any quarterback and offense it faces, no matter what the experience level.
Kevin Goheen covers Michigan State for Landof10.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CincyGoGo