Friday, November 23, 2012

Predictions for Michigan/OSU, MSU/Minnesota

Saturday marks the end of the regular season for both Michigan and Michigan State, with both teams playing very meaningful games. Here are my predictions for both contests.

Michigan at Ohio State
This game really feels like more than just an annual rivalry game. Ohio State is looking to get an undefeated season while Michigan is seeking a ninth win. Both coaches (Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke) are looking to make a statement against the other for the sake of the rivalry.
I expect this game to be similar to last year’s game, where it is an offensive showcase that could come down to the final possession. I think Ohio State will be able to move the ball on the Michigan defense thanks to the play-making ability of Braxton Miller. I think the Wolverines will also be able to find plenty of offense against an Ohio State defense that isn’t all that strong. I think Michigan will pull out all the stops on offense, incorporating Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson at multiple positions to keep the Buckeyes guessing.
Ultimately, I see the Buckeyes winning this one. This game means everything to Ohio State (no offense, Michigan fans). With no bowl game and no Big Ten Championship opportunity, this is the national title game for Ohio State. Meyer has built this game up to be everything for the fan base and the players, and it will take place in the Horseshoe. I think Michigan puts up a fight, but Ohio State finds a way to win in the closing moments.
Ohio State 34, Michigan 31

Michigan State at Minnesota
I know it’s easy to assume that MSU will just waltz in to Minnesota and win and become bowl eligible, but what have the Spartans done this year to prove that would be a given?
Mark Dantonio may have guaranteed victory in his weekly press conference, but the only guarantee I expect is that this game will come down to the final possession just like all other MSU games.
Minnesota has plenty to play for here, just like the Spartans. The Gophers are seeking their first 7-win season since 2008 and head coach Jerry Kill came under fire this week from former player, A.J. Walker. There will be plenty of Minnesota players that will look to rally around Kill and get him a big win to end the regular season.
I am still going to pick Michigan State, as the Spartans are more desperate for the win. A loss for MSU would make an awful season even worse. I don’t expect it to be pretty, but some way, the Spartans will find a way to win.
Michigan State 20, Minnesota 17

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