No. 14 Michigan favored against struggling Michigan State

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              Michigan State running back Elijah Collins (24) pulls away from Illinois linebacker Dele Harding (9) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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Michigan State (4-5, 2-4 Big Ten) at No. 14 Michigan (7-2, 4-2), Saturday at 12:05 p.m. EST (FOX).

Line: Michigan by 13 1/2.

Series record: Michigan leads 70-36-5.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Not as much as in some recent meetings between these in-state foes. The Spartans are struggling just to make a bowl game, and Michigan became an afterthought in the Big Ten title race after losing to Wisconsin and Penn State. Still, the hostility in this matchup endures. The Wolverines have dropped their last two home games against Michigan State, and a loss to this struggling group of Spartans would be tough to take.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan’s offensive line vs. the Michigan State defensive front. The most realistic path to an upset for the Spartans probably involves shutting down the Wolverines and playing a low-scoring game. Kenny Willekes, Raequan Williams and the Michigan State defensive line can be tough to run against, but Michigan rushed for 303 yards in a recent win over Notre Dame.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan State: RB Elijah Collins ran for 170 yards and two touchdowns in last weekend’s loss to Illinois.

Michigan: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones caught a 79-yard touchdown pass last year that put the Wolverines ahead to stay in their win at Michigan State. This season, he hasn’t had a catch longer than 21 yards.

FACTS & FIGURES

The team with more yards rushing has won 44 of the last 49 games in the series. Last year, Michigan outrushed Michigan State 183-15 and held the Spartans to 94 yards of offense. … Michigan State has won eight of the last 11 meetings against the Wolverines and four of the last five at Michigan. … This is just the 15th meeting between the teams in November, compared to 84 matchups in October.