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BYU vs Michigan State College Football Pick

Cougars fans have a very fond memory of the only BYU-Michigan football matchup in history, as it led to BYUs only national championship. And while BYU is no longer undefeated this season, Cougars fans are hoping the second BYU-Michigan game can propel the Cougars back into the discussion for a major bowl berth.

BYU and Michigan will meet in Ann Arbor Saturday, beginning at noon Eastern on ABC.

This will be the first BYU-Michigan game since the Holiday Bowl at the end of the wild 1984 college football season, in which several teams rose to the #1 ranking before losing. Heading into the postseason bowls, BYU reached the top spot in the polls. The Cougars then won the BYU-Michigan game, 24-17, to claim the national title, which was a controversial championship, because BYU played what was perceived as a weak schedule. With the win in the BYU-Michigan game, the Cougars ended 13-0, but the Wolverines finished only 6-6.

It will be interesting to see how the Cougars respond mentally in the BYU-Michigan game after seeing their run of miracle comebacks ended last Saturday in a 24-23 loss at UCLA. BYU had the ball in the final minute just beyond midfield, but threw an interception on fourth down to end the game.

Freshman quarterback Trevor Mangum, who is replacing Taysom Hill after an injury, has thrown for 654 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions in just a little over two games of action.

The Cougars won their first two games in miraculous fashion with Mangum at the helm. He completed a 42-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to beat Nebraska, 33-28, in the season opener after Hill was injured late. And then in Week 2 against Boise State, Mangum completed a desperation fourth-down 35-yard TD pass with 45 seconds left. BYU added a defensive touchdown several seconds later for a 35-24 win.

Michigan meanwhile is 2-1 in Jim Harbaughs inaugural season as head coach at his alma mater. After suffering a 24-17 season-opening loss at Utah, the Wolverines have been especially tough defensively at home, defeating Oregon State, 35-7, and UNLV, 28-7. The BYU-Michigan game should be the toughest of the Wolverines home games to this point though.

Iowa graduate transfer quarterback Jake Rudock has played the majority of minutes for the Wolverines entering the BYU-Michigan game, throwing for 459 yards in three games with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Amara Darboh and Jake Butt are tied for the team lead in receptions with 12 each, and both have scored a touchdown. DeVeon Smith leads the Michigan rushing attack with 173 yards in three games and three touchdowns.