3 Things to Watch for Against Michigan State

3 Things to Watch for Against Michigan State

Football

3 Things to Watch for Against Michigan State

After destroying No. 23 Wisconsin at home 38-13, Michigan now turns it’s attention to the next team on its revenge tour, Michigan State.

Michigan State upset No. 18 Penn State at Happy Valley and now join the rankings at No. 24 and are keeping their Big Ten Championship season alive.

This game will help head coach Jim Harbaugh as he is 1-2 against Michigan State and he needs to start winning the big games. He lost against a good Notre Dame team but beat a good Wisconsin team with ease, and now he has to beat his in-state rival to give his team even more confidence going into the bye and get prepared for Penn State the following week. The focus is on Michigan State though this week, and here are my three things to watch for in Saturday’s game.

1. Can Michigan End The Streak?

Since 2006, Michigan is 0-17 on the road against ranked opponents. Going into last week, Michigan State was unranked and after the win jumped into the rankings and here is another thing Harbaugh can do no coach has done since Lloyd Carr.

Harbaugh has failed at his previous attempts, 0-4 in his time so far at Michigan, one of them being the controversial game against Ohio State in 2016. This is the best time for Michigan to end this streak of road woes against ranked opponents.

Michigan State has many glaring issues all over the team, while Michigan is hot right now and everything is clicking from coaching to penalties, to players. Michigan shouldn’t have an issue but in games where Michigan SHOULDN’T have an issue, they seem to struggle in years past. This year, that hasn’t been a problem so far.

2. How Will Brian Lewerke Perform?

Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke hasn’t been the same quarterback that he was last season. Lewerke threw for 2,793 yards, 20 touchdowns, and seven interceptions last season. This year so far, Lewerke has thrown for 1,587 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

Through six games he already has the same amount of interceptions he had in 13 games last year and that is good for Michigan. Michigan has the number one pass defense in the country and that will make Lewerke force some risky throws, which could turn into interceptions.

Michigan also has a nasty front seven which can put pressure on Lewerke and while Lewerke can use his legs well, you know the Wolverines will be ready for him to scramble and keep plays alive. Lewerke has played well when he doesn’t deal with pressure this year and the offensive line has had issues so Lewerke has been forced to do more things he normally wouldn’t do and with Michigan’s front seven, we could see the bad version of Lewerke on Saturday.

3. Will Rashan Gary Play?

Michigan got running back Chris Evans back last week, along with three defensive linemen in Carlo Kemp, Michael Dwumfour and Aubrey Solomon. so Michigan is getting healthy and wide receiver Tarik Black is without his boot and seems to be close to returning.

But the one player that everyone is worried about is the defensive end, Rashan Gary. Gary hasn’t played the last two weeks and with Ohio State Nick Bosa withdrawing from school to focus on recovering from his injury to focus on the NFL draft, people are assuming Gary might be doing the same.

Gary doesn’t have a serious injury like Bosa, where Gary will miss the rest of the season. It’s unknown what exactly the injury to Gary is, but Jim Harbaugh is honest when it comes to season-ending injuries and he hasn’t said anything even close to that just yet. Gary could very well play, but worst case Gary misses this week and should be back against Penn State.

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