Michigan State vs Pitt: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch, Thursday, December 30
Michigan State vs Pitt: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl How To Watch
Date: Thursday, December 30
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
How To Watch: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
Record: Michigan State (10-2), Pitt (11-2)
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Michigan State vs Pitt Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Preview
– This is what an expanded College Football Playoff matchup would be. Take one of the best teams from the Big Ten against the ACC champion and let it roll. Instead it’s a fun matchup between two programs that rose up in surprising seasons and now want to use this has a launching pad.
– Michigan State was awful in Mel Tucker’s first year. It was 2020 so all could be forgiven in a 2-5 year – especially with a win over Michigan – but this wasn’t exactly a team on everyone’s radar going into 2021. With the running of Kenneth Walker, a defense that was more timely than sensational, and an attitude that fed off of momentum, the Spartans went 10-2 as one of the season’s biggest surprises.
– Western Michigan 44, Pitt 41. It’s not fair or fun to look at the one big negative instead of the overwhelming positives, but had that wild shootout gone the other way the Panthers are probably playing Alabama in the College Football Playoff.
– Whatever … Pitt won the ACC Championship, and that’s amazing no matter what. The Panthers were able to survive a slew of shootouts with a high-powered attack guided by Heisman-caliber QB Kenny Pickett in an amazing year, they beat Wake Forest for the conference championship, and they were the first team since 2014 Georgia Tech to beat Clemson by double-digits in the regular season. However …
– Kenny Pickett and Kenneth Walker have opted out of the game. There are still several good players on both sides of the ball, but the missing parts are going to be glaring.
Along with Pickett, offensive coordinator Mark Whipple left for Nebraska, and Pitt WR Taysir Mack opted out – he was third on the team in receiving – so this is a showcase for all the parts still around before USC transfer Kedon Slovis likely takes over the offense.
For Michigan State, the future is bright helped by the transfer portal – former Wisconsin top running back recruit Jalen Berger is on the way – but Walker really was the signature star everyone wanted to see. On the plus side, star receiver Jalen Nailor is a full go.