It’s hate week, and well there isn’t a whole lot more that needs to be said other than that.
School: University of Michigan
Conference: Big Ten (East Division)
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh (5th season)
Record: 7-2 (4-2 in Big Ten)
Rivalry Trophy at Stake: Paul Bunyan Trophy
All Time Series: Michigan leads 70-36-5 (teams have split the last four meetings)
Interestingly enough, the last four games in the series have all been won by the road team. The last home team to win was MSU in East Lansing in 2014. Michigan’s last win in Ann Arbor was a 12-10 win in 2012, the only time Dantonio has lost at the Big House.
The Wolverines come in as the number 50 scoring offense in the nation, averaging 31.8 points per game. They are 58th in rushing offense, at 170.67 yards per game and 77th in yards per carry at 4.23 yards per rush.
Through the air Michigan checks in at 78th nationally, with an average of 219.2 yards per game. They are slightly better at yards per attempt, where they rank 67th with an average of 7.4 yards per pass. The QB rating is in line with the yardage, also 78th overall.
The defensive numbers are better, as has been the case most of the last few seasons. They are 11th in scoring defense giving up 17.1 points per game.
The rushing defense ranks 21st overall, allowing 112.67 yards per game, but is ninth in the country in yards per carry at just 2.86 yards per rush.
The pass defense is even better, ranking fifth nationally at 153.6 yards per game. They are tenth in yards per attempt at 5.9 yards per pass, and 15th in opponent QB rating. They have allowed eight passing touchdowns and have six interceptions.
The Wolverines can get after the quarterback, with 29 total sacks on the year, tied for 14th most in the country. That is an average of over three sacks per game.
Despite the great defensive numbers overall, Michigan isn’t a big turnover team. They are just plus-one overall on the season in turnover margin, and are tied with MSU with 15 takeaways. Of the 15 takeaways, nine of them are fumble recoveries. But the Wolverines have also lost nine fumbles so that has been a wash.
Players to Watch
Shea Patterson is once again at the helm of the Michigan offense. His performance has been up and down, but the overall numbers are decent. He has thrown for 1,773 yards while completing 57.2% of his passes and averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. Patterson has 12 touchdowns against four picks.
While he isn’t a prolific runner, Patterson can be dangerous in the run game, especially in the red zone where he has five rushing touchdowns.
The main ground threat for the Wolverines has been freshman Zach Charbonnet, who has 559 yards and 11 touchdowns on 4.78 yards per carry. He will also catch the occasional pass out of the backfield, with eight catches for 30 yards on the season.
Hassan Haskins has 426 yards and a pair of touchdowns and is averaging just under six yards per carry.
Four Michigan receivers have at least 20 catches, and one more has nineteen. None have more than the 28 receptions that Ronnie Bell has. Bell also leads the team in receiving yards with 471 yards, but is yet to find the end zone.
Nico Collins is second on the team in both receptions and yards, and tied for the team lead with three touchdowns.
On defense senior linebacker Josh Uche has a team high 7.5 sacks to go with 9.5 tackles for loss. Kwity Paye has 5.5 sacks and a team high 10 tackles for loss.
Three players in the UM defensive secondary have a pair of interceptions each.
The kicking game has been up and down, but Jake Moody is 6-for-9 on field goals overall.