2. Offensive weapons
Let me preface this by stating how nervous I am about Michael Penix Jr. potentially going off against Michigan State for the third time in his career. And he has taken advantage of some decent weapons around him such as Jalen McMillan, Giles Jackson, and Wayne Taulapapa.
But I’m taking Michigan State’s offensive weapons 10 times out of 10.
Just looking at Washington from a year ago, the offense was really bad. It has improved quite a bit and Penix is a good reason for this drastic upgrade along with Kalen DeBoer, but Michigan State’s weapons compare to just about anyone in the Big Ten not named Ohio State.
Tualapapa comes over from Virginia where he had just over 1,000 yards and 19 touchdowns in three years where he also averaged under 5.0 yards per touch. Cameron Davis, Richard Newton, and Will Nixon all have more than 10 carries this season as well but none of those guys have been overly impressive. Michigan State has the upper hand here with former Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Jarek Broussard and Jalen Berger who has two 100-yard games under his belt.
Outside of the thunder and lightning that Michigan State has in the backfield, the Spartans also have six really good pass-catchers in Keon Coleman, Jayden Reed, Tre Mosley, Germie Bernard, Maliq Carr, and Daniel Barker. All of those guys are tough to defend and present matchup problems for the Washington defense.
Washington does have McMillan and Jackson along with Ja’Lynn Polk, Rome Odunze, and Taj Davis, but Michigan State just has more weapons and threats to catch the ball.