Michigan State’s 2016 season comes to a close today when they face Penn State in the regular-season finale.
The Spartans have endured the worst season of the Mark Dantonio era this year while losing eight of their last nine games coming into the finale. However, the Spartans have improved dramatically in recent weeks, especially in the ground game during the second half of the season.
MSU has rushed for more than 200 yards in four of the past five games. During the first six games, MSU averaged 136.2 rushing yards per game, while in the last five, the Spartans are getting 222.9 yards per game on the ground.
Against two of the top rushing defenses in the nation, the Spartans ran for 217 yards on Michigan and 207 against Ohio State last week. Let’s hope they keep this up and end what’s been a rough season on a high note. A win over the eighth-ranked team in the nation would be just that while also giving the Spartans some much-needed momentum heading into the offseason.
As for Penn State, they have a great shot at making it to the Big Ten Championship game with a win this Saturday, but will need some help in the process. Their chances of reaching the title game hinge on the result from the Ohio State vs Michigan earlier in the day.
If Michigan wins, the Nittany Lions are out of the running for the Big Ten East division title, which means they’ll also watch from home as the Wolverines take on likely Wisconsin.
Should Ohio State win, a Penn State win over Michigan State would send the Lions to Indianapolis for the first time since the conference started playing a title game. Needless to say, a lot is riding on this game Saturday as much has yet to be decided in the Big Ten, and MSU has the chance to play spoiler.
When: Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pa.
Time: 3:30 p.m. EST
Live Online Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: The game can be heard over the 39-affiliate Spartan Sports Network
Line: Penn State enters this game as a 12-point favorite.
Weather: High of 45, mostly cloudy, 20-percent chance of rain.