RUSH OFFENSE vs. MICHIGAN STATE RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan is #51 in rushing offense (184.5 yards/game) and #65 in yards per carry (4.28). It’s been an up-and-down season so far, with Ty Isaac leading the way in the first three games and then Chris Evans leading the team in rushing for the Purdue game. Meanwhile, Karan Higdon started the Purdue game but has the lowest yards per carry of the three at 4.12. Isaac appeared to suffer a rib injury two games ago, and he looked extra tentative last game. Hopefully the bye week allowed him to heal, because he’s averaging 6.25 yards/carry this year. The offensive line is iffy, even though Michigan has stayed intact since the spring. Redshirt sophomore right tackle Nolan Ulizio is the weak spot, and sophomore right guard Michael Onwenu is that rare offensive lineman who gets rotated out of the game at times (replaced by redshirt sophomore Jon Runyan, Jr.) because he gets gassed. On the other side of the ball, Michigan State is #16 in rushing defense (96 yards allowed/game) and #19 in yards per carry allowed (3.07). They have done that while only being #63 in tackles for loss, which means they’re making a ton of tackles for short gains. Sophomore middle linebacker Joe Bachie (6’2″, 233 lbs.) leads the team with 34 tackles and 4 tackles for loss, while senior strongside linebacker Chris Frey (6’1″, 238) is second in TFLs with 3.0. Junior strong safety Khari Willis (6’0″, 215) is entrenched as the starter there and is second on the team with 24 tackles. The Spartans aren’t very big at the end positions, but defensive tackles Raequan Williams (6’4″, 300) and Mike Panasiuk (6’4″, 294) are powerful and will give Michigan trouble.
Advantage: Michigan State
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