Michigan-Michigan State football: Expect thunderstorms after kickoff

ANN ARBOR, MICH. - Pack a poncho.

Fans attending Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State football game at Michigan Stadium should be prepared for rain and potential severe weather.

Thunderstorms are expected to move through Ann Arbor around 9 p.m., according to The Weather Channel. Kickoff for the game is at 7:42 p.m.

The Weather Channel reports a 20% chance of rain at 8 p.m., a 70% chance of thunderstorms at 9 p.m. and a 90% chance of thunderstorms at 10 p.m.

The rain is expected to continue through 11 p.m. before tapering off.

The wet weather adds some uncertainty as Michigan and Michigan State prepare to play their first night game in the 119-year rivalry.

Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon acknowledged concerns last week about the logistics of the night game. The game typically has been played during the day, but the Big Ten's recent six-year TV deal gave more power to television networks ESPN, Fox, and CBS to determine game times. Saturday's game is on ABC, part of the ESPN family of networks.

“We’re trying very much to coordinate messages on both sides of this, recognizing that there’s just going to be a lot of travel up and down between here to Ann Arbor from people who probably will not go to the game,” Simon told WVFN-AM 730. “And I think that’s the biggest issue that you face in these kinds of games. …

“So we’re working a lot of angles to try and make this the most positive experience possible. But you have to worry about it. You have to worry about it. I think the SEC tradition is playing at night, it’s not our tradition.”

Michigan won last year's game, 32-23, but Michigan State is 7-3 in the series under coach Mark Dantonio, including the stunning, 27-23, win over then first-year coach Jim Harbaugh in 2015

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© 2017, Detroit Free Press


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