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TOC Staff Picks: Michigan State vs. Penn State

The Land Grant Trophy is up for grabs against Penn State. Will the Spartans win? See what our writers think

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan State Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle for the Land Grant Trophy, Michigan State and Penn State will hit the field tomorrow at noon on ABC.

The Spartans are double-digit underdogs but have found success in that position before. Penn State has won two games in a row, while MSU is fresh off a beating from Ohio State.

Will the Spartans win the Land Grant Trophy? See what our writers think.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 27, Penn State 24

I think Penn State is a better team than its record shows — the Nittany Lions are trending in the right direction after two wins in a row, and probably have more talent than Michigan State. However the Spartans have often played the Lions tough throughout the years and James Franklin is just 2-4 all-time against Michigan State. Mel Tucker is going to have his team ready and much more prepared this time around after being embarrassed by Ohio State last week. Much like the Northwestern game, I have a good feeling about this one. Expect a closely contested game throughout with the Spartans narrowly escaping with a victory in Happy Valley.

David Harns

Michigan State 31, Penn State 30

An invitation to the Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Dec. 26 in Phoenix, Arizona) is on the line when the two original Land Grant universities take to the frozen football field in State College Saturday afternoon, under the lights. The Spartans do just enough to keep their bowl invite on the table (as the Big Ten pick No. 6) leading into “Champions Week.” If MSU does indeed earn this bowl invite, the Spartans will return to the scene of their 17-16 victory over TCU in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

Zach Manning

Penn State 27, Michigan State 17

Penn State has found some momentum, winning its last two games. The Spartans are so inconsistent, and I have no clue what team to expect. Will it be the team that upset Northwestern or the group that got pummeled by Iowa? I’ll go somewhere in the middle and take Penn State to take care of the Spartans.

Paul Fanson

Penn State 35, Michigan State 17

My official prediction is from my computer, which is what I always use, but I will once again explain why it might be wrong. Penn State has only averaged 25 points a game so far this year, and the defensive side of the ball is where MSU has looked the best. On the other side of the ball, up until two weeks ago, Penn State was giving up 36 points per game. I expect Coach Tucker lit a fire under the Spartans this week and I expect a much better, perhaps even UofM/Northwestern level of focus and intensity on Saturday. If that happens, MSU plays smart, efficient football, I could see the Green and White pulling out a low-scoring upset. MSU is also 3-1 in their last four trips to State College. Just sayin’... computer be damned!

Matt Hoeppner

Gruff Sparty 32, Penn State 28

Some of The Only Colors staff will participate weekly in full conference picks, using Tallysight. You can keep up to date with our staff’s selections here.