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Pick up game: TOC makes Week 5 predictions

The Only Colors staff makes their picks for Michigan State’s Week 5 game and the rest of the Big Ten

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Michigan State Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Dantonio was concerned that the Week 3 bye would screw up any momentum his team had after a 2-0 start to the season. Whether it was momentum or something else, things got pretty ugly against Notre Dame.

With the first loss of the season out of the way, the Spartans start their Big Ten season at home against Iowa. The Hawkeyes are also coming off of their first loss of the season, losing a close one at home to Penn State. Which team will get back on track may depend on who can hang on to the ball.

The staff here at The Only Colors makes our picks for the game and the rest of the Big Ten before the start of Week 5.

Matt Sheehan

Iowa 20 - Michigan State 13

Go ahead, start booing me from your desk or couch or dentist waiting room or wherever you're reading this. I see this being a low-scoring and ugly game with both offenses struggling to break out for big plays. Iowa is coming off a game where it held one of the nation's best offenses in check, and defense travels. I see another week where MSU's defense has a hard time getting off the field on third downs against Iowa's not-flashy-but-efficient offense, so that's why I'm guessing against my heart.

Nebraska at Illinois

Maryland at Minnesota

Northwestern at Wisconsin

Indiana at Penn State

Ohio State at Rutgers: Seriously?

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 27 - Iowa 17

I had actually picked Iowa to win this game when we did our preseason picks, but after last week's embarrassing effort against Notre Dame, I just have a strong feeling that the Spartans are going to be hungry, focused and determined to get a victory. Iowa is also going to be motivated after narrowly losing to one of the top teams in the country in Penn State last week, so expect a battle.

Iowa is tough. Quarterback Nathan Stanley has a strong arm and is efficient, having thrown 12 touchdowns to just one interception this year. Running back Akrum Wadley has averaged 4.3 yards per carry and an insane 22.7 yards per reception. They have weapons. But the defense of the Hawkeyes has been pedestrian at best and the Spartans will expose that. I think this will be a close, low-scoring first half. Then Michigan State will make a statement drive in the second half, play tough defense and ice the game on the ground late. Spartans win by 10.

Nebraska vs. Illinois

Maryland vs. Minnesota

Northwestern vs. Wisconsin

Indiana vs. Penn State

Ohio State vs. Rutgers (blood bath)

Matt Hoeppner

Michigan State 20 - Iowa 17

In a game that features a couple of solid defenses and not a ton of explosive offense, the home team will come away with the close win, and in this case, it's the Spartans. After the brutal turnover issues early in the season, MSU takes better care of the ball and is able to make just enough plays to get it done. Matt Coghlin nails his two field goal attempts, including one late in the fourth quarter, and MSU holds on for the win in another tough battle with Iowa.

Nebraska vs. Illinois

Wisconsin vs. Northwestern

Minnesota vs. Maryland

Penn State vs. Indiana

Ohio State vs. Rutgers

Kyle Thele

Michigan State 27 - Iowa 19

Michigan State is still going to have a lot of the same struggles as they’ve had each game so far – they will start slow and battle turnovers. But the defense is going to limit those turnovers to field goals instead of touchdowns and the offense will wake up. Expect some big numbers from Lewerke and at least one LJ Scott touchdown. The Spartans will win, but there will be a few moments in the fourth quarter where Spartan Stadium is holding its collective breath.

Nebraska vs. Illinois

Maryland vs. Minnesota

Northwestern vs. Wisconsin

Indiana vs. Penn State

Ohio State vs. Rutgers