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EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Jim Harbaugh has Michigan marching toward a special season, winning its first seven games and climbing to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll for the first time in a decade.Michigan State , meanwhile, has lost five straight for the first time since 1991.The Spartans are not afraid to say spoiling the Wolverines season adds to their motivation to win.Yeah, I think it definitely does, linebacker Riley Bullough acknowledged.Michigan State receiver R.J. Shelton took it a step further.This is a game right here that can turn our season around, Shelton said.The Wolverines (7-0, 4-0 Big) are not just expected to beat Michigan State (2-5, 0-4) Saturday at Spartan Stadium. Theyre expected to dominate a game theyre favored to win by more than three touchdowns.Even though Michigans fourth-year seniors such as cornerback Jourdan Lewis are 0-3 against the Spartans, who have won seven of the last eight games in the series for the first time, they refused to publicly say it was more important than any other game.We cant look at Michigan State as the end all, be all, Lewis said. If we win the Michigan State game and lose the other games, it really doesnt matter.Here are some things to watch when the rivals meet:QUESTIONABLE QB: Michigan State might have to start freshman Brian Lewerke for a third straight game because both fifth-year senior Tyler OConnor and redshirt junior Damion Terry have been slowed by lingering injuries. If Lewerke plays, he will face quite a test. Michigans defense leads the nation in five categories, including holding teams to an average of 10 points, 207 yards, 111 yards passing.Spartans tight end Josiah Price said he believes Lewerke can get the job done.Brian plays fearless, Price said. Hes not afraid to just throw the ball around, take shots, let it go. As you can see with his scrambling and the way he runs, hes not afraid to take a hit. Hes not afraid to lower his shoulder and try and dive for the chains.TERRIFIC TRIO: Michigans offense, which is averaging a Big Ten-best 48.7 points a game, has a talented and senior-laden group of targets in the passing game. Amara Darboh leads the team with 30 receptions for 499 yards and five touchdowns. Tight end Jake Butt ranks just behind him with 26 catches, 310 yards receiving and four TDs. And when teams try to take them away, Jehu Chesson is more than capable of taking advantage. Chesson has 18 receptions for 275 yards and a score. The Spartans are giving up 225 yards passing a game, ranking 13th in the Big Ten, and nearly 30 points on average to rank 12th in the conference.WEAK LINK: The Spartans lost three starters from last years offensive line and simply havent been able to replace them. A look back the 2013 recruiting class, a group of players in their fourth year, shows a possible reason there is a problem. Michigan State signed only one offensive lineman, Dennis Finley, that year and he has started only one game in his career.REGULARYL RELENTLESS: If Michigan builds a big lead and stays aggressive, it probably wont be because Harbaugh wants to run up the score against a rival. Harbaugh showed last week, again, that he will do everything he can to win every play regardless of the score. Leading Illinois 34-0 in the fourth quarter, the Wolverines faked a punt from their 45. In control of the game with a 41-8 and a little more than 2 minutes left, Harbaugh challenged a spot and complained publicly after the video review not going his way after the game and again two days later.A LOOK BACK: Mark Dantonio has helped Michigan State win seven games on a final play, including last years game at Michigan Stadium. The memorable game ended with a bobbled snap on a punt with 10 seconds left and ended when Jalen Watts-Jackson scored on a 38-yard return off the fumble.We had a plan, Dantonio said. It was a plan thrown together at the time and our players believed in the plan. When I looked out there, I saw confidence faces when I went out there. They were going to do their best. They were going to try to defeat the guys across from them.---More AP college football: Larry Lage on Twitter at Sammy Watkins Jersey . Brett Kulak and Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants were each charged with assault causing bodily harm on Aug. 18, according to the B.C. court services. Morris Claiborne Jersey . -- Jimmie Johnson held off a teammate, passed a pair of Hall of Famers, and dominated once more at Dover. . -- Jakob Silfverberg is making himself right at home with the Anaheim Ducks, scoring four goals in his first four games. Len Dawson Jersey . Now tied for second in the league in shootout goals, the 24-year-old likes to see what the opposing goaltender has in store before he ultimately lands on a move. Anthony Hitchens Jersey . Once again Jordan Cieciwa (@FitCityJordan) and I (@LynchOnSports) go head to head in our picks. Last weekend at UFC Fight Night 32 my #TeamLynch got the best of #TeamJC by a score of 9-6. Let us know which side youre on for UFC 167 use the hashtag #TeamLynch or #TeamJC on Twitter. LOS ANGELES -- It really is hard to find a narrative that LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers isnt willing to indulge in. The other night he even asked a group of journalism students from USC, who were observing his postgame news conference, for extra questions at the end of what had already been a lengthy session after a blowout 127-95 win against the Brooklyn Nets.But there is one subject he isnt touching right now.And its a topic the rest of the league most definitely is talking about with the Clippers off to a franchise-best 10-1 start.So you know theres all this talk of the Clippers being the best team in the NBA now ...Noooo. Mmm, mmm. Nooo. Nooo, Rivers said before the question was even asked.Part of Rivers caution is the youngness of the season. Eleven games is hardly a large enough sample size to start making judgments, let alone boast about anything.But mostly its because Rivers and his team have been stung by all manner of playoff scorpions in recent years.You get tired of losing, Rivers said. The whole second-round [playoff ceiling the franchise has yet to break through] ... I dont think our guys care about that, they just want to win. At some point guys just get tired of losing. I think our guys are at that point.There are all sorts of metrics that would make a compelling case for the Clippers as the best team in the NBA right now.According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Clippers have outscored their opponents by 183 points this season, the fourth-best margin through 11 games of a season in NBA history behind only the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls (plus-212), 1964-65 Boston Celtics (plus-194) and 1971-72 Milwaukee Bucks (plus-193).Theyre leading the NBA in defensive efficiency and have the most dominant five-man lineup in the league. (According to ESPN Stats & Information, starters Blake Griffin-Chris Paul-J.J. Redick-DeAndre Jordan-Luc Mbah a Moute are 98 points better together than any other five-man lineup in the league.) They also feature a vastly improved bench with the additions of Raymond Felton, Brandon Bass and Marreese Speights.Still, Rivers isnt going there.I dont care really, Rivers said, dismissing the best-team-in-the-league talk. We like us. As good as were playing, we can play a lot better.Griffin actually started his postgame interview on Monday by saying his team had a couple of defensive lapses and couldve played better during a first quarter in which it led the Nets 35-7 at one point.Challenged to explain where any lapses couldve been in a 35-7 game, Griffin laughed and sheepishly said, Yeah, a couple.In other words, this team really doesnt want to take any bows yet.Rivers said it reminds him a bit of the 2007-08 championship team he coached in Boston. That was the NBAs first super team, if youre into those sorts of labels, where Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined forces to win each of their first titles.Oh yeah, Rivers said. It was the exact same thing with Paul and KG and Ray. They were tired of losing and they were like, Well, we gotta do it together.But that team was all about Ubuntu, a philosophy and rallying cry used by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu as they fought against apartheid in South Africa that roughly translates as, I am because we are.This years Clippers team has no such higher calling. Pierce was in Boston when Rivers explained it and ingrained Ubuntu into the DNA of that team. Hes in Los Angeles now -- although he has yet to play this season -- and says its vastly different.Its a lot different, Pierce told This team has a lot of built-up frustration. They have first-round lossees, second-round losses.ddddddddddddUbuntu -- we dont have that. Its a totally different team. Different style, different team. This looks like