- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

No. 2 Michigan (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) at Michigan State (2-5, 0-4), 12:01 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Michigan by 23½.

Series record: Michigan leads 68-35-5.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Michigan lost to the rival Spartans last year on a wacky botched punt on the final play of the game - but even that might pale in comparison to what a loss this season would feel like. Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines look headed for a showdown with Ohio State next month with all sorts of conference and national title implications. Michigan State has won seven of eight in this series, but Michigan is a huge favorite here.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan State’s pass rush vs. Michigan QB Wilton Speight. It’s hard to see the Spartans having much success against what’s been a dominant Michigan defense, but if they can pressure Speight and perhaps force some turnovers, that’s probably the most conceivable path to an upset. Michigan State has only seven sacks all season, though.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan: LB-DB Jabrill Peppers. The defensive standout has earned some Heisman Trophy buzz, since he also takes a few snaps on offense and excels as a punt returner.

Michigan State: RB LJ Scott. Amid a rough season so far for the Spartans, Scott has been productive, averaging 5.0 yards a carry.

FACTS & FIGURES

The team with more yards rushing has won 42 of the past 46 games in this series. … Michigan will try for its first 5-0 start in the Big Ten since 2007, Lloyd Carr’s last season as coach. … Michigan State is 7-2 in its last nine games against teams in the AP top 10. … Michigan will play the 1,300th game in school history Saturday. … The Spartans have lost five straight for the first time since 1991 and are a defeat away from their longest losing streak since starting 0-7 in 1982.

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