Steve, Craig, and Tim welcome you to The Wolverine Den! For a preview of the next game, see below. For a look back (and to see the incriminating pictures), choose a game on the Last Week menu. If you plan on attending a tailgate at The Den for the first time, see the blog menu for Den Law and the house rules to many of the usual tailgate "activities". Click on Buy Gear for TWD shirt! For up to the minute gameday activities, follow us on Twitter! See you on Saturday.
Click here to see Craig's Pre-Season Report. This can also be found in the blogs section!
Ever wonder what happens before you get there? Three hours of tailgate set up at The Wolverine Den, condensed to 6 minutes. Click on The Wolverine Den Set Up video below.
This Week at The Wolverine Den
Michigan at Michigan State
October 29, 2016 - 12:00 noon ET
Omelettes in a bag
There is great excitement and anticipation this week in East Lansing. All the Spartys are getting ready for the…start of the college basketball season. How can a team that was in the College Football Playoff last year have fallen so quickly? For most of our lifetimes, this has not been a rivalry – more of defining the natural order. At least to us. But to them, this game has been their defining moment – how they judged their entire season. But over the past 8 years, there was a shift in power. Michigan State became the hunter and Michigan was the prey. Sure, over the last 46 seasons (since the start of the Bo era), Michigan has won 31 times in this series and the Spartans only 15 times. With MSU struggling this year and on a 5 game losing streak, this game is all that’s left. Lose it, and look ahead to basketball season. Win it, and the season is a success, even if you don’t go to a bowl game.
The Wolverine Den Trivia
Since the start of the College Football National Championship in 1998, which coach won the National Championship in only his 2nd year at the school?
The MSU offense has been a mess this year. The offensive line is inconsistent and QB play has been erratic. We don’t even know who will be starting at QB. All three have played - Tyler O’Connor, Brian Lewerke and Damion Terry – but none have been good. Facing the #1 defense in the country will not help to improve the situation. RB LJ Scott started to come into his own over the past few weeks. The Spartans rushed for 270 yards last week against Maryland – their best rushing total for the season. WR/KR RJ Shelton is one of the top targets in the conference. Along with freshman Donnie Corley and TE Josiah Price, MSU has a formidable group of receivers.
The once great MSU defense has fallen on hard times. DL Malik McDowell was expected to be an All-American this year – but has only 1½ sacks. As a team, Sparty has only 7 sacks on the season and only 32 Tackles-for-Loss (Michigan has 25 sacks and 64 TFLs). LB Riley Bullough has followed the family tradition and is the best tackler on the team – when not injured or kicked out of the game.
Michigan is looking at this game as the next one on the schedule – the next one on the way to achieving their goals. As bad as Sparty has looked, we know they view this game as a one-game season. They usually play their best against their in-state rival. It is always a tough, physical battle and even in defeat, the Spartans will look to hurt the Wolverines. If MSU has some early success, this game could be close. Look for D’Antonio to take risks to make the game close – I wouldn’t be surprised by an on-side kick to open the game. Nothing is off the table. But there is just too much Michigan defense for the Spartans to overcome. If Michigan gets a quick start, this could be a blowout. Otherwise, it may take deep into the 2nd half for the Spartans to start thinking about their basketball team.
This will be the 109th meeting for these in-state rivals. Michigan owns a 68-35-5 record in the series.
The Wolverines are a 24½ point favorite (and rising). That is the largest spread against Michigan State since they played #1 Ohio State in 1998 – and won 28-24 in Columbus.
Great Moments in Wolverines - Spartans History
- Woodson’s interception in the 1997 win at Spartan Stadium. One of the greatest individual efforts ever. Look at the picture of this great play on the wall in the Wolverine Den.
- Michigan beat the Spartys 119-0 in 1902 behind 7 TDs from Al Herrnstein.
- Michigan held MSU to only 10 yards of total offense in the 1942 shutout.
- Desmond Howard had 140 yards receiving and a 95 yard kick return in the 1990 game. He was also tackled (and no flag was thrown!) on the 2-point conversion attempt that would have given Michigan the victory that day.
- Butch Woolfolk had his best day as a Wolverine with 253 yards in the 1981 win.
- Rob Lytle had 180 yards rushing on just 10 carries in the 1976 win.
- Chris Perry had 51 carries for 219 yards in the 2003 victory.
- Braylon Edwards had 11 receptions for 189 yards and 3 TDs in the triple overtime thriller of 2004.
- Mike Hart and Chad Henne beat the Spartans 4 straight times. Henne had 14 TD passes and Hart 672 yards rushing in those 4 MSU games – and Hart’s famous “little brother” comment.