Michigan State vs Oregon: Predicting the final score


As the most anticipated home opener in quite some time, the Michigan State vs Oregon game features two of college football’s brightest programs.

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With the game just a day away, the writers of Spartan Avenue got to sit down and predict who they think will win this big game in East Lansing and why. Did anyone pick against the Spartans? Find out.

Connor Muldowney: This one is going to be tough for the Spartans. Which team will show up on Saturday night? The one that’s calm, cool and collected under Connor Cook’s control, or the frantic squad that squanders big opportunities while under the magnifying glass?

Cook will rebound in a big way to lead MSU past the Ducks and the defense will need to make a few late stops to ensure a Spartan victory is in hand. Stopping Vernon Adams won’t be easy, but if they can do that, the Spartans will be in good position to get the W.

Prediction: Oregon 27, Michigan State 38

Evan Cruse: Simply put: bend don’t break. The defense is going to play faster and better than last weekend and although it will give up yards, it won’t break like last year’s game. Cook will prove his Heisman worth and the offense will roll over Oregon.

Prediction: Oregon 31, Michigan State 45

Zachary Weber: Although the secondary struggled against WMU, I expect the defense to come out motivated in front of a rowdy Spartan Stadium crowd. ‎Connor Cook and the receivers will be in sync and L.J. Scott will have another impressive day on the ground.

Related: MSU Recruiting: Who’ll be in town for the Oregon game?

The crowd will be incredibly important to the team’s success; creating consistent noise while Oregon has the ball will confuse Vernon Adams’ attempts to change plays at the line and allow the defense to play freely.

Prediction: Oregon 36, Michigan State 48

Mike Vangheluwe: I agree the crowd and atmosphere will be hostile and then some — probably louder than 2010 Norte Dame or 2011 Wisconsin, as long as the students don’t bail at half.

Our greener secondary will show especially against a team like Oregon, but Vernon Adams playing against a top-five team for the first time, at their place, on slower grass opposed to turf, on a cooler Midwestern night should show even more so. I also expect the revenge factor to play a role with our leaders.

Prediction: Oregon 35, Michigan State 41

Daniel Gottschalk: Despite the freak-out by fans over the defense, Michigan State didn’t allow an offensive touchdown to Western Michigan until 1:37 left in the third quarter. The defense was playing several reserves and simply lost focus late in a 34-10 game against an inferior opponent.

Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Gerald Holmes (24) and tight end Jamal Lyles (11) celebrate a touchdown during the 1st half of a game at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

You can expect razor-sharp focus and maximum intensity against Oregon, a game in which this team has had circled on its calendar since last year’s disappointing loss in Eugene.

Michigan State will keep Oregon’s offense on the sidelines through long, sustained scoring drives. Vernon Adams, while talented, is no Marcus Mariota. This will be the biggest stage he’s had to play on, facing a top-five team on the road in a hostile environment, with people like Malik McDowell, Lawrence Thomas, Shilique Calhoun and Joel Heath trying to rip his head off.

Unlike last year, Michigan State will be able to come up with a few key stops and Connor Cook will take advantage of an inexperienced secondary that gave up 438 passing yards to FCS foe Eastern Washington last week.

Prediction: Oregon 36, Michigan State 42

Thomas Nikundiwe: After a much-maligned special teams performance in week one, I fully expect something special to come from the unit this week. Maybe a Dantonio special trick play, maybe a big return, maybe a big block, but something special that will turn the momentum of the game.

The defense will make Oregon one-dimensional which looks like a mistake early, but the D will eventually get to the new QB and rattle him. And finally, Connor Cook will miss some pretty easy throws in the second and third quarters, but takes over in the fourth leading State to a very satisfying win.

Prediction: Oregon 36, Michigan State 48

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