clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Pick up game: TOC writers make their picks for Week 1

New, 10 comments

The Only Colors staff makes their picks for Week 1 in the Big Ten as Michigan State hosts Utah State

Bowling Green v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2018 season finally gets started Friday when the Michigan State Spartans host the Utah State Aggies. There are high hopes for this year’s MSU team and a loss in Week 1 would be about as disastrous as it gets.

The writers here at The Only Colors have already made our picks for how we think the full season will work out, now it’s time to pick individual winners. In addition to picking the MSU score, the staff also makes their picks for the rest of the Big Ten schedule.

Matt Hoeppner

Michigan State 42 - Utah State 13

The Spartans will be able to get the ground game going against a team that was one of the worst rush defenses a year ago and that will allow the rest of the offense to open things up. MSU will get up quickly and stay out ahead of the Aggies, who will manage some offense, but not nearly enough to keep pace with Michigan State. Spartans win easily as LJ Scott goes well over 100 yards and finds the end zone multiple times.

Minnesota over New Mexico State

Northwestern over Purdue

Wisconsin over WKU

Texas over Maryland

Rutgers over Texas State

Illinois over Kent State

Ohio State over Oregon State

Iowa over NIU

Penn State over App State

Indiana over FIU

Notre Dame over Michigan

Nebraska over Akron

Matt Sheehan

Michigan State 31 - Utah State 17

MSU will play its usual vanilla opener with nothing too special to be seen. I think this game will be pretty close at halftime as MSU’s defense takes a hot second to adjust to Utah State’s uptempo offense, but take enough control of the game in the second half to make it seem like a comfortable win. I mean, let’s be honest -- MSU’s offense is too talented to not put up enough points to win this one.

New Mexico State vs. Minnesota

Northwestern vs. Purdue

Western Kentucky vs. Wisconsin

Texas vs. Maryland

Texas State vs. Rutgers

Kent State vs. Illinois

Oregon State vs. Ohio State

Northern Illinois vs. Iowa

Appalachian State vs. Penn State

Indiana vs. Florida International

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Akron vs. Nebraska

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 34 - Utah State 10

I think Utah State might hold its own early on while Brian Lewerke and the Michigan State offense try to get the feel for the offense (don’t panic, y’all). The MSU defense won’t allow much, so I expect a somewhat low-scoring game at the half -- maybe something like 14-3. The Spartans figure it out in the second half and begin to score at will. We then see some of the reserves get some playing time in the fourth quarter.

New Mexico State vs. Minnesota

Northwestern vs. Purdue

Western Kentucky vs. Wisconsin

Texas vs. Maryland

Texas State vs. Rutgers

Kent State vs. Illinois

Oregon State vs. Ohio State

Northern Illinois vs. Iowa

Appalachian State vs. Penn State

Indiana vs. Florida International

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Akron vs. Nebraska

David Harns

Michigan State 41 - Utah State 10

Michigan State puts this one away early to the delight of a well-striped stadium. The backups get time and the backup’s backups get time as well. A late Aggie touchdown is unfortunate but the Spartans head to the desert injury-free.

Minnesota vs. New Mexico State

Northwestern vs. Purdue

Wisconsin vs. Western Kentucky

Texas vs. Maryland

Rutgers vs. Texas State

Illinois vs. Kent State

Ohio State vs. Oregon State

Iowa vs. Northern Illinois

Penn State vs. Appalachian State

Indiana vs. Florida International

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Nebraska vs. Akron

Zachary Manning

Michigan State 38 - Utah State 13

New Mexico State vs. Minnesota:

Northwestern vs. Purdue

Western Kentucky vs. Wisconsin

Texas vs. Maryland

Texas State vs. Rutgers

Kent State vs. Illinois

Oregon State vs. Ohio State

Northern Illinois vs. Iowa

Appalachian State vs. Penn State

Indiana vs. Florida International

Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Akron vs. Nebraska

Kyle Thele

Michigan State 45 - Utah State 17

This one is pretty much going to stay right on script for a Michigan State opener. The Spartans are undoubtedly the better team, but there are always some kinks to work out in the season opener, and with a team this young, mistakes will be made. But even with all of that, the Spartans should race out to an early lead, something like 31-3. Then Utah State will take advantage of some mistakes and it will feel a lot closer than it actually is. Fortunately, the Spartans will finish strong. This is going to be a great exhibition er... opening game.

New Mexico State at Minnesota

Northwestern at Purdue

Western Kentucky at Wisconsin

Texas at Maryland

Texas State at Rutgers

Kent State at Illinois

Oregon State at Ohio State

Northern Illinois at Iowa

Appalachian State at Penn State

Indiana at Florida International

Michigan at Notre Dame

Akron at Nebraska