It’s been quite sobering for Michigan State football fans to watch the Spartans drop the last two games in lopsided fashion and fall to 2-2 on the season.
Fans probably expected a 4-0 start to the season through September, but that just hasn’t happened and expectations have shifted. Now, the hope is to make a bowl game, but there’s a chance the Spartans can figure things out and get it right before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, that’d be miraculous as the Spartans are heading into the toughest part of their schedule on Saturday, starting with a road game against Maryland.
Will Michigan State take down the Terps and end the skid? Our writers give their thoughts on this weekend’s games.
Michigan State football staff predictions vs. Maryland
Connor Muldowney: I’m defeated as a Michigan State football fan. I expected a quality start to the season and that did happen — for two weeks. Now for the past two weeks, it’s been a nightmare. The defense has been laughable and the offense has lacked creativity. We’ll see a better offense in Week 5 at Maryland but the defense will continue to struggle against the high-powered Terrapin offense. This game will be closer than the last two, but I see another loss in MSU’s future.
Prediction: Michigan State 30, Maryland 37
Conner Linsner: After a rough past two games for the Spartans, it doesn’t get any easier against a Maryland team that just played very well in Ann Arbor. With Taulia’s status still in question, it could play a big role in how this game unfolds. Mike Locksley and Dan Enos do a good job of scheming from what I’ve seen this year. That means an already struggling Michigan State defense will have their work cut out for them. I think the Spartans come out on fire and get an early lead. Can the defense hold up and keep that lead? I’m not sure. This one will go down to the wire.
Prediction: Michigan State 30, Maryland 35
Emmett Matasovsky: There are very few things I hate as much as a Michigan State loss, but I just do not have the confidence in the Spartans this week. The Spartans’ strength appears to be their passing game, and the coaching staff has stuck to trying to run the ball in the first few drives. As a result, the Spartans will have a few quick punts and be down by two scores before the first quarter has elapsed, as done in the last two games. The Spartans have turned any quarterback into prime Peyton Manning the last two years, and unless the staff is hiding the 2013 ‘No Fly Zone’ in their pocket, Taulia Tagovailoa will be cooking this defense.
Maryland played the Spartans closer than last year’s score suggested, with one bad interception and a few questionable fourth down play calls holding them back from beating a Spartan team that had the huge benefit, the one named Kenneth Walker. I believe Tagovailoa has taken that next step for this year with the Spartans taking a step back. Maryland was very close to upsetting Michigan last week, and they will finish the job against another team from the state of Michigan this weekend. The Terrapins also have a home crowd on their side. Granted, a home crowd did not do much to deter Minnesota.
Payton Thorne or Noah Kim will prevent this game from being a shutout and they will even score twice, but Maryland will be able to cruise and possess the ball long enough for the Spartans to lose the game by three possessions.
Now, if you will excuse me, I feel gross writing this and will stop now. I am hoping that I am building up enough karma for the Spartans to secure an upset this weekend.
Prediction: Michigan State 14, Maryland 31