The Michigan Wolverines are coming off of their second bye week of the year for a showdown with the rival Michigan State Spartans on Saturday in Ann Arbor. Despite the team’s 4-5 record, MSU can always catch a team sleeping with trick plays of their own that alter games.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is trying to prepare his team for whatever Mark Dantonio throws at his squad on Saturday.
“On high alert for everything,” Harbaugh said. “Specifically, yeah, we understand that Coach Dantonio is a master motivator. There could be trick plays. Special teams, the punt fakes, field goal fakes. Everything needs to be alerted and prepared and readied for.”
Fans may not see the threat that Michigan State poses to Michigan in this game. Even in a bit of coach speak, Harbaugh points out why nobody inside of Schembechler Hall is taking this game lightly against a team that could cure a lot of its ills by beating the Wolverines on their home field.
“Well, they put up over 500 yards of offense this past week,” Harbaugh said. “Defense is one of the best in the country. Special teams, year-in and year-out, is consistently good, solid, explosive. Prone to trickery, as well. Everything in our preparation is gonna have to be at its highest level. We’re excited – we were excited to get started, we already got started. We’re already in the midst of our preparations.”
Last season, things got testy prior to the game in East Lansing after a pre-game altercation between members of the Spartans and Wolverines. Harbaugh said that he does not expect that to happen again and that the problem has been addressed on both sides of the issue.
“That’s been addressed pretty thoroughly,” Harbaugh said. “There’s a rule that two hours before the game, players cannot be on the field before two hours. So if there are any pregame traditions, then those take place before the two hour mark, when both teams, in two hours, are allowed to be on the field and share the field. One team cannot supersede that. It’s been addressed.”
ESPN updates FPI for final three games
ESPN has updated its Football Power Index after Week 11’s games and has updated numbers on the Wolverines with altered odds across the board.
Here’s the percent chance they have Michigan winning each of its next three games.
vs. Michigan State - 84.2 percent
at Indiana - 75.5 percent
vs. Ohio State - 17.7 percent
The projected record is 8.8-3.2, which puts them right at 9-3 most likely and is where most have them currently listed.
- Juwan Howard spoke to the media on Monday ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Creighton and said that he has his fingers crossed for a few letters of intent to come in during the early signing period for the Wolverines. Michigan’s two 2020 commits currently are five-star forward Isaiah Todd and four-star guard Zeb Jackson.
- LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was not happy with a player recording his postgame speech for social media after the win over Alabama.
- “We have one of the great fanbases in America and when it’s rockin’ in there, does our team feel that? Hell yeah they do. “And when it’s not, do they feel that? Hell yeah they do. Yep.” - Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley on fan support at games