Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Predicting MSU's 2013 season game-by-game

Michigan State has some high hopes to improve on its 7-6 record from 2012 and this year’s schedule sets up nicely for the Spartans to do that. Here are my game-by-game predictions for MSU this season.

Aug. 30 vs. Western Michigan – Give the Spartans a W here. Western Michigan has a lot of new things to incorporate and the Spartans will be eager to put on a show in the season opener. (1-0)
Sept. 7 vs. South Florida – This could be a close non-conference game at home, but I ultimately think the MSU defense will be too strong for the Bulls. (2-0)
Sept. 14 vs. Youngstown State – Not much needs to be said here. It’s a win. (3-0)
Sept. 21 at Notre Dame – I think this will be a low-scoring contest and the Spartans won’t be able to find enough points to come away with a victory. (3-1)
Oct. 5 at Iowa – Going on the road to face Iowa is always tricky, but the Spartans will be coming off a bye and should have a good game plan going in. Give MSU a win here. (4-1)
Oct. 12 vs. Indiana – MSU can’t sleep on the Indiana offense, as it will be dangerous. The Spartans will need to score some points to win, which they should be able to do against the Hoosiers. Despite a few tense moments late, I see MSU getting the win. (5-1)
Oct. 19 vs. Purdue – Michigan State gets to face another team with a new head coach here. The Boilermakers are probably going to have a long season. (6-1)
Oct. 26 at Illinois – The Illini should be better in their second season under Tim Beckman, but MSU should still pick up a road win if the defense shows up. (7-1)
Nov. 2 vs. Michigan – I know MSU has had Michigan’s number at home recently, but I think the Wolverines are the better team on paper. Barring injuries, I see the Wolverines grinding out a win. (7-2)
Nov. 16 at Nebraska – MSU will have to contain Taylor Martinez, which could be a problem. Martinez ate up the 2012 MSU defense, which I think was better than this year’s group. I don’t see Michigan State getting this road win. (7-3)
Nov. 23 at Northwestern – I think Northwestern is going to be very tough this year. The Wildcats offense should be very challenging to stop. The Wildcats may still be playing for the Legends Division title at this time, so I give them the nod at home. (7-4)
Nov. 30 vs. Minnesota – The Spartans will end the regular season on a positive, beating Minnesota at home. (8-4)

An 8-4 record isn’t too bad considering the question marks the Spartans have on offense. Mark Dantonio created new expectations with a pair of 11-win seasons in 2010 and 2011, but I just don’t think this team has that capability.

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