U U U
Michigan flew through its non-conference season, and the Wol-
verines survived a thriller at Indiana last weekend. But now the
real tests begin. Michigan's suspect defense will have its hands
full and we'll get to see how Denard Robinson handles good
Daily Football Beat
Nicole Auerbach, Ryan Kartje, Tim Rohan and Joe Stapleton
TABLE OF CONTENTS
3 GAME PREVIEW: This game might be the
biggest of Rich Rodriguez's three-year stint.
KICK AWAY: Troy Clack, a student, was close
to kicking in the Big House. Michigan's kickers,
on the other hand, are in the doghouse.
BREAKDOWN: The Spartans will have to try to
keep up with Denard Robinson to have a shot.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Tim Rohan caught up
with Spartan linebacker Greg Jones at Big Ten
Media day in August. See what Jones had to say.
Connecticut (Sept. 4): Denard ran all over
UConn. He proved he could pass the ball too,
and Rich Rod's hot seat began to cool down.
Notre Dame (Sept. 11): After UConn, the ND
game was Denard's encore on steroids, with a
Iowa (Oct. 16): Iowa's Adrian Clayborn may be
the Big Ten's closest replacement for BG. That's
a problem only if he can catch Shoelace.
Penn State (Oct. 30): PSU has a freshman QB.
Michigan knows what that's like. 'Nuff said.
Massachusetts (Sept. 18): Michigan squeaked Illinois (Nov. 6): Ron Zook is probably the only
by the Minutemen last weekend, winning by less IL N/IS coach in the nation who makes RichRod feel like
than a touchdown. A win is a win is a win. his job is secure.
Bowling Green (Sept. 25): Michigan's defense
was thrown into question vs. Massachusetts. It
will have a lot to prove aginst the Falcons.
Indiana (Oct. 2): The Wolverines survived their
first Big Ten test - but defense was once again
suspect. Denard saved the day with 494 yards.
Michigan State (Oct. 9): A top-20 showdown.
and Dantonio's return to football - as if Mich-
igan-Michigan State needed any more intrigue.
Purdue (Nov. 13): Danny Hope did something
last season RichRod would kill for: beat OSU. But
they've had a rough year thus far. Yikes.
Wisconsin (Nov. 20): The Badgers basically
return their entire team. But hey, their last visit
to the Big House went pretty well for Michigan.
Ohio State (Nov. 27): Who knows, maybe
Terrelle Pryor and OSU will have to try and derail
Michigan's title hopes.
for live updates during the game
Cover photo by Max Collins
Center spread design by Marissa McClain
The Daily football writers do their
best to predict what happens
in the 2010 football season.
Kaner TimJoe Men's Glee Club
Kartje .. Rohan , Stapleton President
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez has not won a gane against Michigan State in his two tries so far for the Wolverines. Mao COLUNs/Daiy
Battle for state boasts
plenty of ig storylines
No.18 Michigan (-5) vs. No.17 Michigan Michigan St. Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan
No.1 Alabama(-0)at No.19 South Caro- Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama Alabama
No.2 Ohio State (-28) vs. Indiana Ohio State Indiana Ohio State Indiana Ohio State
No. 3 Oregon (-34) at Washington St. Washington St. Oregon Oregon Oregon Oregon
No. 4 Boise State (-36) at Toledo Boise State Boise State Boise State Boise State Boise State
No. 5 TCU (-33) vs. Wyoming TCU Wyoming Wyoming Wyoming TCU
No.7 Nebraska (-10) at Kansas St. Nebraska Nebraska Nebraska Nebraska Nebraska
No. 8 Auburn (-6.5) at Kentucky Auburn Auburn Auburn Auburn Auburn
No. 9 Arizona (-7.5) vs. Oregon St. Arizona Arizona Oregon St. Arizona Arizona
No.10 Utah (-4) at Iowa St. Utah Utah Utah Utah Utah
No.11 Arkansas (-7.5) at Texas A&M Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas Arkansas
No.12 Louisiana St. (+9) at No.14 Florida Florida Florida Louisiana St. Florida Florida
No.13 Miami (Fla.) (-7) vs. No. 23 Florida St. Florida St. Florida St. Miami (Fla.) Florida St. Florida State
No.16Stanford (-7) vs. USC Stanford Stanford . USC Stanford Stanford
No.20 Wisconsin (-22) vs. Minnesota Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin Minnesota
No.21 Nevada (-38) vs. San Jose St. San Jose St. Nevada San Jose St. Nevada San Jose St.
No.22 Oklahoma St. (-21) at LA-Lafayette Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St. Oklahoma St.
No. 24 Missouri (-9) vs. Colorado Missouri Missouri Missouri Colorado Missouri
No. 25 Air Force (-26) vs. Colorado St. Colorado St. Air Force Air Force Air Force Air Force
Illinois (+11.5) at Penn State Penn State Penn State Penn State Illinois Illinois
Purdue (+10) at Northwestern Northwestern Northwestern Northwestern Northwesterm Purdue
Last week 11-5 7-9 11-5 10- 6n/a
Overall record 56-34-2 52-38-2 51-39-2 58-34-2 0-0-0
Return of Dantonio
and clash of undefeated
teams puts nation's
eyes on Ann Arbor
By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports Writer
It's already a can't miss, circle-
your-calendar game for most people
in the state of Michigan.
Add a coach returning from a heart
attack, a Heisman front-runner and
two unblemished records, and "can't
miss" suddenly becomes an under-
The 2010 installment of the Michi-
gan-Michigan State game, which will
take place in Ann Arbor on Saturday,
features storylines that are among the
most intriguing in college football.
Spartan coach Mark Dantonio
suffered a heart attack following
Michigan State's overtime win over
Notre Dame on Sept. 19. He planned
to coach the Spartans last week
against Wisconsin from the press
box, but a blood clot in his leg kept
him sent him back to the hospital.
The fourth-year coach says nothing
will keep him from coaching from
the press box at the Big House on
"You can't keep me down Michi-
gan week," Dantonio said to begin
his weekly news conference on
Tuesday. "It's good to be back -
He'll be welcomed back to the
field with the biggest challenge in
the Big Ten - containing Michigan's
explosive sophomore quarterback
According to the nation's top col-
lege football analysts, Robinson is
the favorite to run away with the
Heisman Trophy. In five games, he's
already accumulated 1,008 passing
yards, and he leads the nation with
905 rushing yards.
"Denard is an outstanding play-
er," Dantonio said. "When you look
at the film, (Indiana) had the right
defense and he makes people miss.
"We have to swarm and get a lot
of people to the point of attack. The
one thing about playing them is if he
makes a guy miss, he has the ability
to go the distance."
Robinson is a huge - if not the -
reason the Wolverines are 5-0 and
just a win away from bowl eligibility.
On the other side of the field, the key
to the Spartans' 5-0 start hasn't been
just one player. It's been their run
game in general, perhaps most nota-
bly the emergence of running back
Le'Veon Bell. The true freshman has
averaged 94.2 yards per game so far.
Michigan State's upset of then-No.
11 Wisconsin propelled the Spartans
ahead of the Wolverines in this week's
AP and coaches polls.
Michigan State has won the last
two meetings between the teams, and
that includes last season's heartbreak-
ing loss in overtime. Talk of "little
brother" has simmered and turned
into a running joke up in East Lansing.
"Trust me, we talk about (the
game) quite a bit and not just because
they won the last two years," Michi-
gan coach Rich Rodriguez said Mon-
day. "It's no less important to us as it
is to them."
Rodriguez joked that he doesn't
have a countdown clock to the annual
game, like Dantonio implemented
after he was hired by the Spartans. He
said he counts down to each upcom-
ing game just the same.
Still, if Rodriguez wins this game,
it will be the biggest victory of his
coaching career at Michigan.
"They are all big, but this one is
bigger," Rodriguez said. "The rivalry
games are always bigger. I'm sure they
will tell you the same thing. It's a huge
thing for both teams every year. The
more you win, there's more at stake,
and there's more at stake this year
because both teams are undefeated."
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2B FootballSaturday, October 9, 2010