No. 6 Michigan Needs To Beat No. 24 Spartans To Keep Rolling « Detroit News Watch

Here’s what to watch in the Big Ten this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 6 Michigan at No. 24 Michigan State

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ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 06: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on while playing the Maryland Terrapins on October 6, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 42-12. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

This is huge for Jim Harbaugh, whose team has won six straight and entered the top 10 for the first time this season. The Wolverines (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) have established themselves as a real factor in the Big Ten East after being picked fourth.

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BLOOMINGTON, IN – SEPTEMBER 22: Head coach Mark Dantonio of the Michigan State Spartans runs off the field and acknowledges fans following the win over the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Spartans have won two of three against Harbaugh-coached Michigan teams, and eight of 10 in the series, and would love nothing more than to derail the Wolverines’ run. The question: which MSU team will show up? The Spartans (4-2, 2-1) lost to Northwestern at home two weeks ago and beat Penn State on the road last week.

BEST MATCHUP

Purdue QB David Blough vs. Ohio State secondary

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LINCOLN, NE – SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Jeff Brohm of the Purdue Boilermakers watches action with quarterback David Blough #11 against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

Blough has completed 110 of 181 passes (68.3 percent) with 1,573 yards, 10 touchdowns and two interceptions over his last four games. He’s also rushed for two scores and became the first Purdue quarterback to catch a TD pass since Brandon Hance in 2001.

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COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 13: Tyler Johnson #6 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers fumbles the ball as he is tackled by Shaun Wade #24 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second quarter at Ohio Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes recovered the fumble. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Ohio State has allowed more than 300 yards passing twice, most recently against Indiana two weeks ago, and is seventh in the conference in pass defense.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

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ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 13: Zach Gentry #83 of the Michigan Wolverines battles for yards after first half catch while being tackled by Eric Burrell #25 of the Wisconsin Badgers on October 13, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Wisconsin has eight sacks through six games; the Badgers had 20 at the same point in 2017. … Northwestern LB Blake Gallagher has had double-digit tackles in three straight games, making him the first Wildcats player to accomplish the feat since Anthony Walker Jr. in 2015. …

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COLLEGE PARK, MD – OCTOBER 14: Quarterback Max Bortenschlager #18 of the Maryland Terrapins is hit by linebacker Blake Gallagher #51 of the Northwestern Wildcats in the first half at Capital One Field on October 14, 2017 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Rutgers, last in the FBS in turnover margin, has had eight turnovers vs.  one takeaway over its last two games. … Nebraska, on a program-record 10-game losing streak, would lose a seventh straight in the same season for the first time since 1957 if beaten by Minnesota . … Illinois’ 229 rushing yards per game is more than double its 2017 season average of 106. … Penn State’s Trace McSorley is completing 54.1 percent of his passes for 206.8 yards per game, compared with 67 percent for 266.2 through six games in 2017. … Freshmen have had a big impact at Indiana, accounting for 11 of 14 takeaways, including the last seven, and RB Stevie Scott is second among true freshmen nationally in yards (557) and carries (115).

LONG SHOT

Maryland, 10-point underdog at Iowa

The Terrapins (4-2, 2-1) will be going for a second win over a ranked opponent when they visit the No. 19 Hawkeyes (5-1, 2-1).

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EAST LANSING, MI – NOVEMBER 18: Ty Johnson #6 of the Maryland Terrapins tries to run past the tackle of Khari Willis #27 of the Michigan State Spartans during the first half at Spartan Stadium on November 18, 2017 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

RBs Ty Johnson and Anthony McFarland combined for 206 yards last week, but that was against lowly Rutgers. This week the Terrapins face a defense that allows just 2.7 yards per carry and has allowed only four rushing touchdowns. If interim coach and offensive coordinator Matt Canada can’t find a way to get the ground game moving, it’ll be a long day. The Terps have the lowest-ranked passing offense of any non-triple option team.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – OCTOBER 06: A.J. Epenesa #94 of the Iowa Hawkeyes tackles Mohamed Ibrahim #24 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first quarter of the game on October 6, 2018 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The Gophers rushed for more than 400 yards against Nebraska last year, and the winless Cornhuskers remain vulnerable to the run. Minnesota’s hot hand is Ibrahim, who ran for 105 of his 157 yards against Ohio State in the first half last week. Shannon Brooks has been medically cleared to return after an offseason knee injury, but his status is uncertain following his weekend arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic assault. The Huskers are allowing 177 yards per game on the ground to rank 10th in the Big Ten.

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