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TOC Staff Picks: Michigan

The Spartans are heavy underdogs against the Wolverines. Can they pull an upset? See what our writers think.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Mel Tucker era didn’t begin the way many had hoped, and the road doesn’t get any easier.

Michigan State is a 24.5 point underdog to Michigan this weekend. It’s hard to imagine the Spartans turning it over seven times, but the Wolverines are a far better team than Rutgers.

Do the Spartans have any chance of pulling off an upset? See what our writers have to say.

David Harns

Michigan 33, Michigan State 24

I’m an optimistic guy and I like a good redemption story. So I’m going to assume a dramatic positive change between Week One and Week Two for Mel Tucker’s team. And I’ll also assume that the Wolverines come back to earth, at least somewhat. This means that I am predicting a somewhat close game, which will be much more fun than the alternative. My heart says MSU 28, Michigan 27 but my head says Michigan 38, MSU 20. So I’ll split the difference and go with Michigan 33, MSU 24.

Paul Fanson

Michigan 52, Michigan State 14

Once again, this is not so much my pick as my computer’s pick, but the end result is essentially the same. I still have faith in the coaching staff and the process going forward, but unless offensive line play is significantly better than last week, it is really hard to imagine a scenario where things don’t get ugly. But trust me, I would far rather be happy than right any day. If my computer does wind up being close to correct, I plan to google phrases like “what does the command format C: do?” before shutting the machine down and unplugging it for a day or so.

Kyle Thele

Michigan 41, Michigan State 10

This isn’t going to be fun. At no point will this be close. Don’t mistake this game for one that “gets away” late in the game. Expect Michigan to jump out to an early lead and strangle the life out of the MSU offense. Rocky Lombardi will be in an almost impossible position, but if he doesn’t improve, don’t be shocked to see at least two quarterbacks in action for MSU.

Zach Manning

Michigan 41, Michigan State 17

Look, there’s no way Michigan State is going to turn it over seven more times. If they do, this game will be uglier than 41-17. Michigan is just a better football team, plain and simple. I think the Spartans struggle to run the ball again, and Rocky will be put in a lot of obvious passing situations, which will make it hard for the Spartans to move the ball. Michigan looked good against Minnesota and should be just fine against the Spartans.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan 37, Michigan State 17

This one probably isn’t going to be pretty. However, if Michigan State can clean up the turnovers from last week and the offensive line improves in both the run game and pass protection — I know that’s wishful thinking — maybe it won’t be a total disaster. I think the defense will come ready to play early on, so long as they’re not defending a short field all game long again, but at the end of the day, Michigan wins by around 20 points. As painful as that is to say, I have a hard time seeing this one as a competitive game. Although, you never know what may happen in this rivalry.

Matt Hoeppner

Michigan 35, Michigan State 14

I do not believe that MSU will turn the ball over seven times again. I also do not believe that the offense will be able to do enough to keep the Spartans in the game with that offensive line against UM’s defensive front. I also expect Michigan to dominate the line of scrimmage against MSU’s defense as well after seeing some big holes for Rutgers runners last week. It is going to be a rough one, but hopefully a cleaner performance than last weeks drop-a-thon.

Kevin Knight

Michigan 28, Michigan State 21

Michigan State is not turning the ball over seven times. Nor are the Spartans going to have some of the rust they had early against Rutgers. On top of that, I think Mel Tucker is smart enough to know after the disaster that was his debut last week, this game matters and he needs to break out every trick and motivational gimmick he has in the book. It still won’t be enough for the win, but with a healthier squad than what Minnesota had this will be a tougher fight than Michigan bargained for and a competitive loss by MSU. Go Green, and muck Fichigan!

Matt Sheehan

Michigan 84, Michigan State 10

The year 2020 has given us a total of roughly three collective smiles, so why stop the misery now?I just don’t have the faith that MSU can set up production in the running game here – the offensive line is a major concern and the test doesn’t get easier this weekend. In return I don’t think that’ll necessarily help Rocky Lombardi and the passing game.I just can’t see a way this game isn’t a “name your score” game for UM. I’m sorry.

Some of The Only Colors staff will participate weekly in full conference picks, using Tallysight. You can keep up to date with our staff’s selections here.