It’s a massive showdown to start the Big Ten season that could turn out to be a preview of the conference title game. Check out the Wisconsin vs. Michigan State fearless prediction and game preview.
Wisconsin (3-0) vs. Michigan State (2-0) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 24th
Game Time: 12:00 pm
Venue: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Why Wisconsin Will Win
Grind, grind, grind, grind, grind.
When fully focused, Wisconsin’s defense can hang around with anyone in college football. After a few rough drives last week, expect a different Bucky D this week.
Don’t get hung up on the poor performance against Georgia Southern – the Badgers were clearly just trying to get through and on to better things.
RB Corey Clement probably could’ve played, but he sat it out to rest his injured ankle for the big games ahead, and as it turned out, it was a perfect game and a perfect time to figure out the quarterback situation. Alex Hornibrook stepped in, looked nearly perfect, and now the Badger offense might have more of a downfield passing game to go along with Clement.
Michigan State will have to be ready to get ugly – especially with its running game.
The Badgers bent, but didn’t break against Leonard Fournette, shut down a high-powered – don’t laugh, ask Marshall – Akron offense, and allowed just 33 yards to Georgia State last week.
This is a Badger D built to slow down power ground games, and more than anything else, it’s been a brick wall on third downs. Opponents have converted just 21% of their tries so far, and if MSU can’t crank out long drives, there’s going to be a problem.
Why Michigan State Will Win
DeShone Kizer might be the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. At the very least, he’s growing into a top ten overall pick.
Alex Hornbrook is getting his first start against Michigan State’s defense in the Big Ten opener – no pressure there.
The Spartan pass rush hasn’t been anything special, and the secondary had problems against Kizer late, but this game sets up almost perfectly. Considering the MSU should be able to slow down Clement and the Badger ground game – Notre Dame gained just 57 yards on 25 carries – Wisconsin’s fate rests on a redshirt freshman in his first start.
Meanwhile, Tyler O’Connor has been terrific for the Spartans, hitting 73% of his passes with five touchdown passes. He might have a pick in each of his first two games, but considering Wisconsin made Georgia State QB Conner Manning look like he was the next brother up – he’s not related – this could be O’Connor’s game.
What’s Going To Happen?
These two programs manage to play classics.
They went on a seven-game run after the 49-14 MSU win over Wisconsin in 2004 that was as good as any seven game series in college football, and this one should measure up.
Hornibrook will be fine. The Michigan State defense will be solid. Clement will rumble for enough good runs to get by, and MSU’s LJ Scott will come up his end of the rushing star bargain. Essentially, these two will look the part.
It’ll be a grinding, tough game that’ll come down to the last drive, and Michigan State will pull it off by hitting a few clutch third down plays to set up a game-winning field goal to get out with a thriller.
Wisconsin vs. Michigan State Prediction
Final Score: Michigan State 23, Wisconsin 20
Line: Michigan State -5.5, o/u: 43
ATS Confidence: 5: Xmas in September – 1: Get out now … 2
Must See Rating: 5: The Magnificent Seven – 1: The Voice … 5