It's the regular season finale and it's Senior Day. Let's get to the picks.
Nick Page: After seeing the Illinois game, I can finally stop saying what I had been saying. Last week, the defense was not good enough to get past the offenses shortcomings. That was against Illinois. Now we're facing a two-loss team whose only losses are against OSU and Oregon. Good luck. It's Senior Day so I expect our guys to be fiery and ultimately put together a competitive game, but I don't see us moving the chains against a good Spartan defense, which will put the pressure on the D.
Michigan State 33-17
Ryan: Penn State over the last two years achieved a victory and at least one loss that make you want to scratch your head and say, 'how did that happen?'. Now this may be the worst Penn State team in that span that saw two wins over Wisconsin not a lot of people saw coming to end their years, but screw it. Michigan State is by far the better team in every facet of the game on Saturday, but nobody could explain how Penn State went into Madison last year and seemingly dominated Wisconsin the entire game. This may be a better Michigan State team than any of the previous Wisconsin teams that Penn State beat in '12 and '13, but I stick by my 7-5 prediction made at the beginning of the year.
Penn State 20-17
Matt: It does not seem like that long ago Penn State was staring at what seemed to be a sure beat down to close a season. Last year, of course, PSU was a 24 point underdog in their season finale against Wisconsin. As of now (Tuesday morning), the Lions are 13.5 point dogs to Sparty. After the November this team has had, it is tough to see another big upset.
The Lions defense will keep them in the game, as they have done practically all season. But the unit was noticeably tiring in the 4th quarter against Illinois, and a much more physical MSU offense, lead by one of the most underrated tailbacks in the country, Jeremy Langford, will likely wear them out even more. The Spartan defense is a step or two behind last year's dominating unit, but still very good. It's not a stretch to say it's the best defense PSU will have faced all season. That means more struggles for the offensive line, Christian Hackenberg, and the rest of the offense.
Michigan State 24-7
bscaff: 24 of 35 (68%) for 340 yards, 2.2 TDs, and 1.4 INTs. 9.6 yards per attempt. Those are Hackenberg's career (averaged) stats when the week leading up to Saturday's game doesn't involve much or any skool work (5 games - Syracuse, EMU, Wisconsin from 2013; UCF and Akron from 2014). And guess who ain't come to play no skool this week, because of Thanksgiving break? And here's one more piece of insider information for you: in 2013, on Monday of Thanksgiving week, the team went to a movie. They watched "The Hunger Games". This year, on Monday of Thanksgiving week, the team went to a movie. They watched "The Hunger Games Part II". These things are not mere coincidences, friends. No - it's the football gods foreshadowing a great offensive awakening, which they hath predestined, in their glorious mercy. Saturday shall be our revival.
Penn State 24-23
Nick Blonde: Sorry to be that guy bscaff, but last year was Hunger Games Part II, this year is Hunger Games Part III, Part I of II, er, let's go with III A.
I have far less hope for Michigan State than I ever had for the Ohio State game, which I had a glimmer of hope for the NIttany Lions. I really just want the team to avoid any bad injuries and to get that month of additional practices for the young guys before the Pinstripe Bowl, if they happen to steal this game, that'll be a bonus. Michigan State has been susceptible to big play passes down the field, but the line will need to give Hack time and the receivers need to actually get separation to take advantage of that weakness and I just don't have great confidence in those two things happening at this point.
Michigan State 16-7
Tim A: I fully expect PSU to put up a fight against Sparty. The defense should keep Sparty's offense at bay for a while, until Mark Langford gradually wears them down and Connor Cook is able to complete a few darts to move those chains. PSU will get its lone touchdown off of a short field set up by an interception and Sam Ficken takes care of the rest, scoring-wise. Really, PSU's clusterfuck of an offense is what is keeping me from calling for an upset. Of course, I probably said similar things about our chances of beating Wisconsin a year ago and look what happened there...
Michigan State 24-13
Dan: Just get me to the postseason already.
Michigan State 27-10
FROM THE PREVIEW:
Jared: Michigan State 30-10