EAST LANSING, Mich. — This Saturday at noon, the undefeated Spartans will take on the undefeated Wolverines, and FOX Sports has started setting setting the stage outside of Spartan Stadium for "the biggest pregame party of the weekend," FOX Sports' BIG NOON KICKOFF.
The pregame show will be live in East Lansing for the first time.
"First and foremost, the emotion is going to be so high, and I've done this game a few different years, but I can't remember a time in which the emotion and the energy and the build-up was this intense," FOX Sports analyst Joel Klatt said. "They've done such a good job bringing some of these transfers into the fold and them contributing in big ways, namely Kenneth Walker, I can't wait to watch him play."
This is the first time in more than a decade that both teams have been undefeated going into their rivalry game.
"You're going to see a lot of plays made, because undefeated records suggest that they have done it in big moments so far this season, and we've seen that from both squads," Klatt said.
Apart from both being undefeated, Klatt said, the two teams are "so similarly built."
"They're going to rely on their run game, they're going to try to play as good a defense as they possibly can, and the area in which I think the game will ultimately be won is by a quarterback trying to make a play," Klatt said.
Monday morning MSU head football coach Mel Tucker said this week he and his team are focusing on technique, fundamentals and blocking out the outside noise. It's all about playing clean football.
"What prevails is execution. Our focus and our point of emphasis this morning and it's going to be throughout the week, is eliminate the drama," Tucker said.
Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh has a similar strategy.
"I think great coaches understand that when you get into these big games, you've got to control the controlables, and a lot of what you can control is just your own effort level and your preparation, and you've got to rest in that and rely on that. Going back to the fundamentals," Klatt said. "That's exactly what they should do."
So, who does Klatt see taking home the Paul Bunyan trophy?
"If I knew, I probably wouldn't be sitting here. I'd probably go to Vegas," Klatt said. "I will tell you that both of these teams have been resilient at times, and both of them have shown the ability to kind of run away and blow teams out. I think that Michigan State has a huge advantage playing at home in this game...Now, Michigan has dealt well with road environments. They won at at Wisconsin, they won at Nebraska — but that Nebraska game, they didn't play their best game — in particular on the defensive side and the momentum started going away from them."
To be a part of the FOX Sports' BIG NOON KICKOFF live audience, bring your school spirit to the STEM Facility at the southeast corner of Spartan Stadium at 9 a.m. Saturday. There will be free food and merchandise, celebrity guests, live music and more. The live broadcast starts at 10 a.m., and kickoff is at noon.
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