No. 6 Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) at No. 24 Michigan State (4-2, 2-1), 12:05 p.m. ET (Fox).

Line: Michigan by 7.

Series record: Michigan leads 69-36-5.


For the third time in four seasons, Jim Harbaugh has Michigan looking like a serious Big Ten title contender, but he's only 1-5 against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State, so the pressure is on for the Wolverines. The Spartans have won eight of the last 10 meetings in this series and still have conference championship hopes of their own if they can win this game. This is always an emotionally charged matchup, but it's hard to escape the feeling that Harbaugh and Michigan need it more this time around.


Michigan QB Shea Patterson vs. Michigan State's secondary. Patterson arrived as a transfer amid plenty of hype, and this is an opportunity for him to deliver. Michigan State's defense is ranked 117th against the pass and No. 1 against the run. If Patterson can't exploit this matchup, the Wolverines could be in for a struggle.


Michigan: DL Chase Winovich has three sacks and 10½ tackles for loss. He's emerged as a leader of a Michigan defense that's been stellar even though star DE Rashan Gary has been out with a shoulder injury. The Wolverines have the nation's top-ranked pass defense.

Michigan State: QB Brian Lewerke already has as many interceptions (seven) as he did all of last season, but he's an experienced passer who led the Spartans to 10 wins a year ago and is coming off a last-minute touchdown throw that beat Penn State last weekend.


The team with more yards rushing has won 43 of the past 48 games in this series. The Spartans outrushed Michigan 158-102 in their victory last year. ... The Spartans and Wolverines have met 17 times when both teams were in the Top 25. Michigan State is 10-6-1 in those games. ... Michigan State has nine wins over top-10 opponents since 2013. Only Alabama and Ohio State have more. ... Michigan is 0-17 against ranked teams on the road since 2006.


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