What happened at the end of last year's Michigan State-Michigan game will live forever. The Spartans' runback of a blown punt attempt for a last-second touchdown at the Big House was one of college football's weirdest, most memorable moments in years. It resulted, eventually, in Michigan State playing in the College Football Playoff, and it will stand up for generations as one of the most shocking finishes we've had. It was pretty cool, unless you root for Michigan.
Let's not bank on something similar this year. The Spartans are the losers of five games in a row, and Michigan is an undefeated buzzsaw. The Wolverines are obliterating everyone they're playing and seemingly enjoying the benefits quite a bit. Given the recent dominance MSU has displayed against UM, don't be surprised if Jim Harbaugh runs it up. Michigan should have some blood lust here, and the Wolverines can probably score to their hearts' content. It's not clear that Michigan State will be able to do anything to stop it.
How to watch, stream, and listen
TV: 12 p.m. ET, ESPN. The broadcasting team is Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, and Allison Williams.
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: Michigan is favored to win by more than three touchdowns.
Make friends: Get to SB Nation's Maize n Brew (for UM fans) and The Only Colors (for MSU fans). They're cool.
Three big things to know
1. Michigan State's offense is a mess. The Spartans got strong quarterback play for the last three years from Connor Cook, but he's in the NFL now. Replacement Tyler O'Connor has been a mix of decent and injured, and the Spartans haven't been able to find anything resembling a groove through the air. Michigan's secondary is outrageously good, so don't expect them to find that groove Saturday. Also, the running game's been flat, which hasn't helped open things up.
2. Michigan's defense is scary. In fact, the Wolverines are tracking toward a historically great defensive season. A secondary highlighted by Jabrill Peppers helps, but there's plenty more. Michigan's linemen and linebackers get tons of push and spend entire games generating havoc. There's no time for quarterbacks to throw and no green for running backs to find. For the vast majority of the country (and definitely including Michigan State), this defense isn't beatable.
3. A Michigan win will turn a recent tide. The Spartans have won seven of eight against the Wolverines since 2008, after a run of Michigan dominance from 2002-07. It's always been hard to imagine a Michigan comeback that didn't involve restoring some balance against its in-state rival. Saturday could send the right message on that front.