Michigan State Football: Final score predictions vs. No. 4 Ohio State

Saturday afternoon’s Ohio State vs. Michigan State football game will likely be one of the most-watched of the weekend, and for good reason.

College GameDay is in town for this top-10 matchup and both teams have a ton to play for. The Spartans and Buckeyes are both still in the running for the Big Ten East title as well as the College Football Playoff. A win for either here would put them in position to control their own destiny.

Michigan State is a huge underdog while Ohio State is expected to roll (sounds a lot like 2015) but can the Spartans pull off the upset?

Here’s what our writers have to say about the matchup.

Connor Muldowney: I don’t get all the disrespect directed Michigan State’s way ahead of this game, but I also think it has a lot to do with the secondary’s struggles. If Michigan State had even an average defensive backfield, the Spartans would likely have more than a fighting chance in experts’ eyes. But those three Ohio State wideouts and CJ Stroud scare the heck out of me. I think Michigan State holds Ohio State to a couple of red-zone field goals which will keep the Spartans in the game, but the Buckeyes wear them down late to win by two scores.

Final Score: Michigan State 27, Ohio State 41

Jack Williams: Ohio State and Michigan State actually have jarringly similar teams. Strong offense, each with a Heisman candidate running back, and really bad pass defense. I’d even go so far as to say that OSU’s passing defense is worse than MSU’s, allowing more yards per attempt. I don’t know — I just think the Spartans are better on paper if you’re willing to separate from the total yardage statistics. I’m taking MSU in a close one.

Final Score: Michigan State 34, Ohio State 31

Carter Landis: This is my first time not picking MSU, but it’s against Ohio State, so I think it makes sense. The secondary is bad, and OSU has three first-round receivers. MSU doesn’t match up well with OSU and they won’t win.

Final Score: Michigan State 35, Ohio State 38

Conner Linsner: Michigan State will have its biggest test of the season. Everyone knows that the Big Ten runs through Columbus and that will be true Saturday. If the Spartans can pull off the upset they set will set themselves up in prime position to make a trip to play for the Big Ten title.

The Ohio State offense is electric in all facets. The only way the Spartans can pull this off is if Kenneth Walker III can have another Heisman caliber day like he did against Michigan. The Michigan State pad defense is efficient in yards per attempt, but they also average the most yards per game in the NCAA via the pass. Michigan State has to make the Buckeyes settle for field goals and not let them put touchdowns on the boards which will be a daunting task.

A shootout is the only way the Spartans can win and I don’t see that happening.

Final Score: Michigan State 27, Ohio State 42

Stephen Robb: Could MSU win this game? Yes, however many things have to go their way. Kenneth Walker III must have his best game. Payton Throne has to protect the football and make precise throws. The X-factor is Thorne’s legs. When plays break down he must pick up key yards. That being stated I don’t think MSU will win. The secondary is in shambles.

Final Score: Michigan State 27, Ohio State 45