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Week Nine is upon us which means the annual in-state rivalry matchup is here. Michigan is looking to avenge last year’s loss and keep the undefeated season alive while Michigan State is looking to play spoiler. Jim Harbaugh is also looking for his first win against Mel Tucker in his third try. The records may not be equal, but as past years have proven, anything can happen when the Wolverines and Spartans face off. 

The Daily makes their call for who emerges with the Paul Bunyan trophy: 

Michigan vs. Michigan State Prediction

Jared Greenspan: 

Mel Tucker carries a 2-0 record against Michigan into Saturday’s matchup and that carries more weight than the Spartans’ woeful 3-4 record on the season. Michigan State always seems to put up a fight in these games; the Wolverines should be prepared for a close game. And, by all indications, they are. To me, the tenor of this game feels more like 2019 — when a rolling Michigan team obliterated the reeling Spartans — than past upsets, like 2017 and 2020. In both of those instances, the Wolverines turned out to be deeply flawed. This year’s team is not. Michigan 42, Michigan State 14

Josh Taubman

A year ago, this game was a top-10, undefeated battle. This year’s matchup is a completely different tale and lacks the same hype as last year — and for good reason: The Wolverines are simply better. Last time Michigan took the field, it bullied Penn State in the trenches. I expect the Wolverines to use a similar formula against the Spartans’ lowly defense. It’s a rivalry matchup and weird things can happen but unless the Wolverines shoot themselves in the foot multiple times, the Paul Bunyan trophy won’t stay in East Lansing a third consecutive year. Michigan 45, Michigan State 17

Spencer Raines

Tuck comin’? Tuck comin’. Michigan State comes into Ann Arbor this weekend with an edge. Under Tucker, the Spartans have owned this rivalry — albeit just a two game sample size. The problem, though? Michigan State is not a good football team this year. A glaring weakness in the secondary is the just the start of it, Michigan overmatches them at nearly every position group. The Spartans could cover, but I have a hard time seeing any path to victory for them outside of things implausible. I think it’s close in the first quarter but the Wolverines prove too physical for Michigan State. Michigan 41, Michigan State 17.

Nick Stoll

I’m not even going to front: Michigan State is horrible. It’s hard to find a redeeming quality to the Spartans’ defense, and the offense outside of receiver Jayden Reed puts on a clinic weekly on how to be mediocre. Anything can happen in the rivalry, so don’t count Michigan State out entirely, but I wouldn’t count them in it. The only question for me is whether Michigan covers. Michigan 45, Michigan State 18

Here are the rest of the beat’s predictions for Week Nine:

Week Eight Records:

Cumulative Records

Oct. 29 7:30 pm Michigan State +23 at Michigan

Oct. 29 12:00 pm Ohio State -15.5 at Penn State

Oct. 29 2:30 pm Rutgers +14 at Minnesota

Oct. 29 3:30 pm Illinois -7.5 at Nebraska

Oct. 29 3:30 pm  Northwestern +11 at Iowa

Oct. 29 3:30 pm Oklahoma State +1.5 at Kansas State

Oct. 29 3:30 pm Cincinnati +1.5 at UCF

Oct. 29 7:00 pm Kentucky +12 at Tennessee