If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts debate who they think wins Saturday’s rivalry game between Michigan and Michigan State. What do you think? Vote in this post or just tweet out either #BTNMichigan or #BTNMSU.
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Keith Appling had 17 points as Michigan State beat Grand Valley State 101-52 in an exhibition opener Tuesday night. Appling was 6 for 9 from the field, including making 5 of 7 from 3-point range to show an improved outside stroke. Coach Tom Izzo’s other perimeter players contributed to a 14-for-24 effort beyond the arc. Gary Harris, the 2013 Big Ten freshman of the year, had 14 points.
When you think of Michigan State, you think defense. And, there is no better player on the Spartan “D” than cornerback Darqueze Dennard. The 5-11, 197-pound senior from Dry Branch, Ga., is in his third season as a starter and has 136 tackles and 25 passes defended (eight interceptions, 17 pass break-ups) in 37 career games, including 33 starts (22 consecutive).
The early returns are in, and the new penalty for targeting is having an impact. According to Big Ten officials coordinator Bill Carollo, there have been 54 targeting calls in 534 FBS games in 2013. Fifteen were subsequently overturned upon replay review, putting the number of disqualifications through 534 games and nine weeks of action at 39.
Through 10 matches of the Big Ten season, the nation’s deepest and most decorated conference has lived up to its billing. Upsets have been plentiful, top 15 matchups are the norm and contenders have emerged from the pack. The standings have rarely looked the same on any given week, and early-season surprises have struggled to endure the grind of the league.
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If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s #BTNLive show, our experts discuss this question: Which unit will have the biggest impact on the Michigan-Michigan State game? The choices: Michigan’s offense, Michigan’s defense, Michigan State’s Offense, or Michigan State’s defense.?