Michigan State vs. Arizona State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 8
Game Time: 10:45 ET
Venue: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
Michigan State (1-0) vs. Arizona State (1-0) Game Preview
How for real is Arizona State?
While Chip Kelly’s UCLA flailed in a strange loss to Cincinnati, and Arizona totally failed in Kevin Sumlin’s debut against BYU, ASU rolled by a solid UTSA team in a dominant 49-7 victory.
It’s only one week, but … maybe, just maybe, Herm Edwards knows what he’s doing.
Just how for real was that close call for Michigan State against Utah State?
The Aggies are okay, and the Spartans always seem to start slow, but it took way, way too much drama and effort to get out with a 38-31 win.
This is a fantastic team with the talent and upside to win the Big Ten title and get back to the College Football Playoff for the second time in four years, but …
It had better play a while lot better than it did in Week 1.
The terrific, Rose Bowl-winning 1986 Arizona State team beat the Spartans 20-17 to open up the season, but MSU won the 1985 opener 12-3.
One Reason Why Michigan State Will Win
The run defense shut down Utah State dead cold.
Aggie QB Jordan Love seemed to hit every key throw to keep the game alive, and yeah, the ground game came up with three scores, but there weren’t any big runs against an MSU D that allowed just 25 yards with nothing more than nine yards.
Arizona State will have to throw and throw some more to win this, but that goes into the teeth of one of the team’s biggest strengths.
Yeah, the secondary struggled on third downs, but there were two picks – with the game-sealer coming from LB Joe Bachie – and again, there was nothing happening from the ground game.
The Spartans held on to the ball for almost 38 minutes, and they have to do that again. ASU had control for just under 28 minutes against UTSA.
One Reason Why Arizona State Will Win
That … was … fantastic.
The offense got the headlines with over 500 yards with a balanced attack in the stunning performance against a solid UTSA team, but it was the defense that took over and dominated with ten sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and allowing just three net rushing yards.
And yeah, MSU couldn’t deal with Love and the UTA passing game, but now it has to hand N’Keal Harry, Kyle Williams, and one of the Pac-12 best receiving corps.
Eno Benjamin is a dangerous running back, Manny Wilkins is a veteran quarterback who knows what he’s doing, and again, the defense is going to bring the heat from all angles.
Eight different Sun Devils came up with sacks last week, and while the MSU offensive line will do a stronger job than UTSA did, it’s going to be under siege.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s going to be worth staying up late for.
Michigan State is going to play with fire again, but this time it’s going to get burned.
Arizona State is going to be jacked up to a whole other level, will force a few key takeaways, and will answer every big moment by the Spartans with a big drive of its own.
This is where the home field advantage will play a big role, even with the huge contingent of Spartan fans making their voices heard.
It’s not going to be a dominant performance from ASU, but Wilkins will be great, the receiving corps solid, and the pass rush is going to be a problem.
Just when it looks like MSU is about to take over late … the Sun Devils will hold on.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Arizona State 30, Michigan State 27
Line: Michigan State -6, o/u: 54
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 4
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