Central Michigan vs Michigan State: 5 bold predictions

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Sep 12, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans cornerback Darian Hicks (2) and linebacker Darien Harris (45) celebrate after the Oregon Ducks have a turnover on downs during the fourth quarter at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans beat the Ducks 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State heads into Saturday’s noon matchup with the Central Michigan Chippewas ranked No. 2 in the nation in the Associated Press poll — its highest ranking since 1966.

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The Spartans are coming off a 35-21 win over Air Force in which Connor Cook and Aaron Burbridge shined, while the run game and defense struggled.

Despite winning fairly comfortably, Michigan State was actually out-gained by Air Force 428-324. The Spartans gave up 279 rushing  yards on 51 attempts, while only rushing for 77 yards on 1.8 yards per carry.

Air Force often put eight, nine and sometimes even 10 men in the box to shut down the Spartans’ run game. This opened things up for Connor Cook to throw for nearly 250 yards and a career-high four touchdown passes.

Burbridge had eight receptions for 156 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs. The only other receivers in Michigan State history that have caught three touchdowns and racked up over 150 yards in a game are Spartan greats Andre Rison and Plaxico Burress. Both Rison and Burress went on to have very successful NFL careers. Burbridge has gained over 100 yards in each game this season, and if he continues to play like that, he could be looking at a similar future.

Central Michigan is 1-2 heading into the game with MSU after losing 30-27 to Syracuse in overtime last week. The Chips also gave quite the scare to No. 24-ranked Oklahoma State in its season opener. The Chips had a 13-10 lead early in the third quarter before Oklahoma State took control with two unanswered touchdowns to come away with the win.

Can the Chips channel some 2009 magic and pull another stunner at Spartan Stadium? Let’s take a look at 5 bold predictions for the Central Michigan vs Michigan State matchup.

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