Michigan State vs. Western Michigan: 5 bold predictions

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Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Riley Bullough (30) sacks Baylor Bears quarterback Bryce Petty (14) during the fourth quarter in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

1. Riley Bullough will lead the defense in tackles & be a true leader

During spring practice and summer camp, Riley Bullough impressed and established himself as obvious choice at middle linebacker. Bullough will continue the family name in Spartan lore following in his brother, father and grandfather’s footsteps as a great Spartan player.

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Riley is more athletic than his older brother Max, which will allow him to appear to be all over the field. He will end the night with 12 tackles, several coming for loss. Western Michigan will take advantage of some miscues in the Michigan State defense early in the game and it will be Bullough that rallies the troops.

After the miscues early on, Western will find it tough to get anything going as Riley makes all of the correct reads and on field adjustments.

While Taiwan Jones had a good season last year in the middle for MSU, this was not his natural position. Bullough is perfect in this role — an athletic thumper who eats, sleeps and dreams about football.

Spartan fans will have a pleasant surprise in the step up in play coming from that position.

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