Michigan State football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Spartans will do this year.
Can the defending Big Ten champs do it again? The Spartans have some rebuilding to do, but they’re still going to be terrific. Will the schedule work out to get back to the Big Ten title game? Check out these Michigan State football schedule predictions for every game this season.
Sept. 2 vs. Furman
While other big-time teams are stressing themselves out with tough Week 1 games, the Spartans get a preseason scrimmage on a Friday night. Fun for all.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 34, Furman 0
Sept. 17 at Notre Dame
It really, really stinks to have the week off coming so early in the season, and will it even matter against Notre Dame? The time off will have the opposite effect with the Spartans finding themselves a little bit rusty while the Fighting Irish should be seasoned after hosting Nevada. MSU has lost the last three in the series.
Preseason Prediction: Notre Dame 23, Michigan State 20
Sept. 24 vs. Wisconsin
Coming off the tough loss to the Fighting Irish, the Spartans will need the home win in the Big Ten opener. Wisconsin will also be desperate thanks to a loss to LSU to start the season and a date at Michigan to follow. Luckily for fans, these two tend to play classics.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 27, Wisconsin 24
Oct. 1 at Indiana
Power, power, power. Michigan State will take away the Indiana firepower with a tough and nasty ground attack that’ll control the game throughout. The defense will do its part early on, and the offense will take over in the second half.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 48, Indiana 20
Oct. 8 vs. BYU
The Cougars have a nightmare of a schedule to start the season, and this won’t help. The Spartan defense will clamp down on the dangerous BYU backfield, but it’s going to be a bit more of a battle than the home crowd might like.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 30, BYU 21
Oct. 15 vs. Northwestern
The two defenses will take center stage in a grinder of a game. The Northwestern offense will stall in the second half, and it’ll turn it over just enough to let the Spartans get out with a win that won’t exactly be aesthetically pleasing.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 23, Northwestern 16
Oct. 22 at Maryland
For yet another game, the Spartan offense won’t come up with anything to get fired up about, but it’ll grind it out with the ground game just enough to overcome a terrific game from the Terp defense. Michigan State won’t be threatened, though it also won’t look the part of a possible Big Ten champ.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 26, Maryland 14
Oct. 29 vs. Michigan
The Spartans’ attack will continue to sputter, but there’s a reason this week – Michigan’s defense is the real deal. In a showdown of tough ground games, the Spartans’ will be a little bit better. It’ll take a long, sustained drive in the fourth quarter to close it out.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 20, Michigan 16
Nov. 5 at Illinois
The Illinois defense will be terrific at home, will catch Michigan State suffering a hangover after the Michigan game. By this point in the season, the Spartans will have their groove down when it comes to winning tough, tight games. It won’t be that they aren’t playing well – they’re going to have to deal with several tough defenses.
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 23, Illinois 17
Nov. 12 vs. Rutgers
Finally, the Spartans will open it up a bit. Rutgers provided a push in a 31-24 MSU win last season, but not this year. Michigan State’s passing game will blow up and be outstanding throughout the home game just in time for …
Preseason Prediction: Michigan State 38, Rutgers 17
Nov. 19 vs. Ohio State
Will the Buckeyes forget to run the ball this time around? No, but they’ll put the ball in the hands of quarterback J.T. Barrett, who’ll be efficient enough to counteract the MSU ground game. It’ll be yet another phenomenal game in one of college football’s best new rivalries.
Preseason Prediction: Ohio State 23, Michigan State 20
Nov. 26 at Penn State
The loss to the Buckeyes won’t end the Spartans’ hope for the Big Ten title … but the loss to Penn State will. Sparty won 55-16 last year to make it three in a row going back to 2009, but the Nittany Lions will come up with their big statement victory under James Franklin with everything clicking at just the right time.
Preseason Prediction: Penn State 26, Michigan State 24
2016 Prediction: 9-3
2016 Big Ten Prediction: 7-2