RUSH OFFENSE vs. MICHIGAN STATE RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is #11 in rushing (257 yards/game) and #18 in yards per carry (5.47). Leading rusher Chris Evans is questionable this week after suffering a concussion last Saturday. so things are very likely to be left to starter De’Veon Smith (412 yards), Ty Isaac (332), and breakout running back Karan Higdon (359). Up front, Michigan rolled with (from left to right) Ben Braden, Ben Bredeson, Mason Cole, Kyle Kalis, and Erik Magnuson last week. The Wolverines have suffered injuries on the left side and it’s been a bit of a revolving door between three players (Braden, Bredeson, and Juwann Bushell-Beatty), so watching those players matched up against Michigan State’s Malik McDowell will be one concern for Michigan fans. McDowell leads the squad with 5 tackles for loss and stands sixth on the team with 32 tackles. The leading tacklers are safety Montae Nicholson (6’2″, 219 lbs.) and linebacker Chris Frey (6’2″, 227), each with 57. The Spartans will run mostly a 4-3 Over front. Outside of McDowell, nobody in the front seven should be particularly intimidating, but Nicholson is really good at supporting the run and hits like a linebacker. The Spartans are #66 in rush defense and #57 in yards allowed per rush.
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