Michigan State delivered one of college football's most memorable finishes last year in a ten-second stretch that still haunts Michigan to this day. The folk hero in question made an unforgettable 38-yard run to the end zone and shattered Michigan's confidence. Even looking at the college football picks, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the upcoming Michigan/Michigan State game.
The Spartans are obviously not the most impressive team to come out of the new season, not when compared to the dominant performance of the Wolverines; however, the unpredictable nature of previous Michigan/Michigan State matches makes it a little difficult to predict the outcome of their next game.
Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh still remembers the stress and humiliation that last year's defeat brought; for Jim, nothing was more unappealing than being part of a play at the end of a game that snatched victory right out their clutches.
Be it a Hail Mary or a Blocked Punt, these are the sorts of situations that Jim spent his life avoiding, only to run straight into one during the game against Michigan state; and that particular play, those ten seconds, brought defeat to Jim's door.
It should be noted that Michigan has had more than enough time to put that particular loss behind them; of the 13 games they have played since that loss, they have won 12. However, that doesn't mean they have actually put their loss to Michigan State aside.
It was the sort of defeat that leaves a bad taste in one's mouth, a gut-punch that left Jim's team debilitated for several days to come. Certainly, they have had time to heal, but that doesn't mean they have forgotten, and all Michigan wants to do now is to punish their rival.
Luckily for Michigan, Michigan State is standing in the way of their goals, so they have even more motivation to plough through their old enemy; Saturday is an opportunity they have been looking forward to for quite a while, a chance to put painful memories to rest once and for all and to finally move forward.
For Michigan, everything more or less rests on the Saturday Game; for the sake of their morale, they cannot afford to lose. And luckily for them, the Spartans are not exactly in the best situation.
Michigan State might have beaten Michigan in seven of their eight encounters but they have experienced five brutal straight losses this year. They haven't seen such a lengthy losing streak in a very long time.
In that regard, the game on Saturday could change the entire season for them. As slighted as Michigan feels, Michigan State cannot afford to lose either and they will fight tooth and nail to beat their bitter rival.
Michigan is in a unique position; only the fifth-year seniors have ever had the opportunity of experiencing a victory against Michigan State; the Saturday game is an opportunity for the Wolverines to create some new memories.
Both teams couldn't be more motivated to tear one another apart; the Saturday match could determine just how well either team performs in the rest of the season.