Here is some more bad news for Michigan State football fans: neither of the BTN.com bloggers predicted Michigan State to beat Wisconsin this weekend at Camp Randall Stadium.
Michigan State (4-4, 1-3) at Wisconsin (6-2, 3-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2
Tom’s pick: Wisconsin, 28-14. These teams played two classics last season. Don’t expect a repeat. This is a tale of two teams headed in opposite directions at hyper speed.
Brent’s pick: Wisconsin, 24-13 – Here’s what you need to know about this one: Wisconsin hasn’t allowed an opponent to score more than 14 points the last three games; and Michigan State has scored fewer than 17 points in three of the last four.
I’m not surprised by their predictions. My game preview for Friday predicts Wisconsin to beat Michigan state, too. Be sure to read it when it comes out because I talk about Wisconsin’s new offensive formation, “The Barge.”
I hope that Andrew Maxwell can build off last week’s performance. He finally looked comfortable throwing the ball, but more receivers need to emerge as deep threats if Michigan States is to have any chance against the Badgers. Le’Veon Bell hasn’t had a chance to really explode since the Spartans began conference play, mostly because of how bad MSU has been at passing the ball.
The defense should be able to slow down the Wisconsin offense enough to give Maxwell a puncher’s chance at scoring touchdowns. Wisconsin left tackle Ricky Wagner may not play Saturday, which would give the defensive line an opportunity to slow down Joel Stave’s passing attack.
This will most likely be the final meeting between the two schools until 2017, as the Big Ten conference schedule rotates between divisions each year. Because Michigan State and Wisconsin are in separate divisions, 2017 is the earliest the conference can rotate this matchup back into the schedule. So, say goodbye to the rivalry for the next four years.