BYU Cougars @ Michigan State Spartans (-5.5)
Michigan State was ranked #8 before losing to Wisconsin and Indiana in back-to-back weeks. Now, they’ll look to get their season back on track against a 2-3 BYU team whose three losses come from a combined seven points.
The Spartans enter the game banged up. Riley Bullough isn’t expected to suit up and Malik McDowell is suspended for the first half. On offense, running back L.J. Scott has a minor leg injury, however the Spartans expect him to play even if he’s not 100 percent.
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Back-to-back tough losses, a banged up team and hosting a hungry team who is a lot better than their record is never a good combination.
Tyler O’Connor returned to form against Indiana after throwing three interceptions against Wisconsin. He tossed three touchdowns versus the Hoosiers, however Scott only gained 3.5 yards per rush, hindering the offense as a result. Just like many teams in college football, this is a make or break week for the Spartans.
They’re not going to return to the College Football Playoff and most likely won’t win the Big Ten East. However, ranking outside of the top-50 in both points per game and points allowed per game is very uncharacteristic for a Mark Dantonio coached team.
BYU is a respectable program who have been just a couple of scores away from entering this game undefeated. These are the types of games that Michigan State needs to win to get their season back on track. Being at home will help, but players on their defense will need to step up in the absence of key contributors.
Prediction: Michigan State 27 BYU 24