Monday, December 30, 2013

My prediction for the Rose Bowl

It’s been quite a season for Michigan State, but I don’t see it ending on a positive note.
The Spartans have worked hard to get back to the Rose Bowl, and that in itself could be all the accomplishment that Michigan State is looking for.
Stanford has been in this situation, while MSU can clearly get lost in the moment.
It doesn’t help that the Spartans are without defensive leader Max Bullough, either.
Stanford poses the toughest physical test Michigan State has had this season. The Spartans have struggled against physical running backs, and they will see one in this game in Tyler Gaffney. Unlike what Ohio State did with Carlos Hyde, Stanford won’t stop feeding Gaffney. With Bullough out, the Spartans are likely to have a tough time stopping the Cardinal ground game, which should keep the MSU offense off the field.
If Stanford is able to control the ball on offense, it may cause MSU to press on offense, which likely won’t go well. Connor Cook has been composed this season, but is facing a tough defense. His mistakes will be amplified against Stanford. While Jeremy Langford could have another solid game, I don’t think he will be able to do enough on his own to win the game.
Ultimately, the experience of Stanford and the Cardinal’s ability to match MSU’s physical play will lead them to victory. 
Stanford 27, Michigan State 16

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