Editor’s note: Counting down to Michigan football’s season opener, Land of 10 is taking a look at the Wolverines’ 2017 opponents.
Michigan vs. Michigan State
- When: Saturday, Oct. 7
- Kickoff time: TBA
- Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
- TV: TBA
- Last meeting: Michigan defeated Michigan State 32-23 on Oct. 29, 2016, in East Lansing. Amara Darboh caught 8 passes for 165 yards and De’Veon Smith ran for 2 touchdowns to help Michigan reclaim the Paul Bunyan Trophy for the first time since 2012.
Michigan State at a glance
- Coach: Mark Dantonio
- 2016 record: 3-9
Michigan State players to watch
LJ Scott | RB
Scott caught the Wolverines by surprise in the opening minutes of the matchup last season between the in-state rivals, running for 49 yards on 10 carries in a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Scott’s 5-yard touchdown run. Scott was the bright spot in a down season for the Spartans. He led Michigan State with 994 yards and 6 touchdowns on 184 carries and emerged as a receiving option, with 147 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches.
Chris Frey | LB
Frey, a senior, is the Spartans’ top returning defensive player, registering 96 tackles and 7 quarterback hurries last season. Frey has taken on a more vocal leadership role for the Spartans. Following a season-ending loss at Penn State, Frey took the reins and organized offseason workouts for his team. Frey will be counted on to be a leader for Michigan State’s young players.
Michigan opens its Big Ten schedule with a bang, against in-state rival Michigan State. Michigan defeated Michigan State last season for the first time since 2012, but the Wolverines host the Spartans with a new-look roster. The Spartans should have more stability at quarterback, while Michigan’s young players in the secondary and at wide receiver will have five games of on-the-job training under their belts before lining up against the Spartans.
Michigan 37, Michigan State 23