Week 9 Predictions: Michigan State Spartans
As I wrote earlier, this is the final game in a 3-game test for the Nittany Lions. There is a reason why they are only 6.5 point favorites heading into Spartan Stadium–they don’t play well out there. Penn State hasn’t won in East Lansing since 2009. Michigan State isn’t very good, but has had an off week to prepare and has another off week after this week, which means their focus for the past 2 weeks has been entirely on upsetting the Nittany Lions. Let’s dive into predictions.
Brandon Musso (7-0) & (4-3) vs. The Spread
The last two years of this matchup have not played in Penn State’s favor. Michigan State has had their number, dishing them a loss in East Lansing in 2017 and another at Beaver Stadium in 2018. Penn State comes into this game still undefeated and this will provide a serious threat to that record.
The key to this game is Penn State starting fast and playing with extreme discipline. The Spartans are a well coached team that will jump on the opportunity to capitalize on the Nittany Lions’ mistakes.
If Penn State can clean up their mistakes with both on the field play and coaching, they can manage to come out on top in East Lansing Saturday.
I think Penn State starts early and ends up leaving with a close victory.
Penn State: 27 Michigan State: 20
Kraigen Rasalla (7-0) & (2-5) vs. The Spread
Michigan State has been a thorn in Penn State’s side the last two seasons, pulling off the upset in both 2017 and 2018. They have the opportunity to spoil Penn State’s perfect season, yet again, if they can pull off a third straight upset of the Nittany Lions.
Penn State will have to find more consistency in their offense, as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but went stagnant against Michigan. They also need much more out of the running backs, as they ran for just 88 yards as a group, with 44 coming on one play by Ricky Slade.
Yes, Michigan State has allowed on average 36 points against Ohio State and Wisconsin in their last two contests. But, coming off a bye at home, this is the perfect week for them to correct their problems from the first half of the season.
Penn State wins. But, it will be a very uncomfortable victory in East Lansing.
Penn State: 17 Michigan State: 10
Cory Lestochi (6-1) & (3-4) vs. The Spread
The whole week I was going to pick Michigan State to win. Penn State has played so poorly against the Spartans as of late and it doesn’t help that the Green & White has had two weeks to prepare.
That being said this is the worst Michigan State team Penn State’s played in the past 3 seasons and the Lions are bringing their best defense in a long time into town. Additionally, the Penn State offense has shown the ability to prevent turnovers even in hostile environments like Iowa.
Michigan State won’t be able to run the ball and I have to believe this defensive line is tired of not getting to MSU’s magician-like quarterback when he scampers around the field.
Michigan State’s season is teetering on the edge of collapse with players transferring midseason. Wouldn’t be shocked if Penn State loses a close one, but I am going to go bold and say this game is the straw that breaks the Spartans back emotionally. Penn State jumps on them early and unlike the Wolverines last week, Michigan State doesn’t pick themselves up nor do they have the playmakers to do so anyway.
Penn State: 35 Michigan State 6