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TOC Staff Picks: Western Kentucky vs. Michigan State

After escaping with a win against Nebraska, Michigan State looks to move to 5-0 this Saturday night.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Michigan State Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Most people didn’t believe Michigan State would be in this position, but the Spartans have a chance to move to 5-0 this Saturday night.

Western Kentucky comes to town for homecoming weekend, in what will be the second consecutive night game at Spartan Stadium. Mel Tucker credited the fans at last week’s contest and Saturday should prove to be another solid environment.

It’ll be interesting to watch how the Spartans fare against Western Kentucky’s heavy passing attack. Michigan State should be able to put up some yards against the Hilltoppers, but this game could have a lot of points scored.

Check out what our writers think about the game:

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 38, Western Kentucky 30

This game is probably going to be high-scoring and closer than many people may think. Western Kentucky has a dangerous passing attack in the air raid offense, and the Michigan State secondary has been susceptible against the pass and could give up a lot of yardage. The key will be if the Spartans can keep the Hilltoppers off of the scoreboard, as MSU has done a good job of all season (allowing just 18 points per game). Offensively for MSU, Kenneth Walker III should have a field day against a weak rushing defense allowing 224.7 per game, and that will be the difference in this game. WKU puts up a good fight, though.


Michigan State 34, Western Kentucky 27

The Hilltoppers will make Michigan State fans sweat this one out a bit with their high octane passing attack. That said, the Spartans have a decided size and talent gap, which should allow MSU to manage the game through the ground attack.

Kevin Knight

Michigan State 41, Western Kentucky 28

The Spartan defense is tested early in this one with lots of break downs in the secondary, giving up more points than is ideal. However, the offense is again humming all game long after some bad play calling against a much better defense last week. Adjustments at halftime on defense put this game away by the start of the fourth quarter.

Zach Manning

Michigan State 34, Western Kentucky 24

Michigan State’s defense has let up some yards, but not a lot of points. I think we see a similar trend happen against the Hilltoppers, where the Spartans allow them to move in between the 20-yard-lines and stiffen up inside the red zone.

I am a little concerned with Western Kentucky’s strong passing attack, but I think Michigan State will be able to score a decent amount against a defense that has let opponents run the ball pretty well. Kenneth Walker gets back on track and MSU moves to 5-0.

Matt Hoeppner

Michigan State 38, Western Kentucky 28

This will not be an easy game. The Hilltoppers passing attack has been excellent this year and they can move the ball. MSU will need to control the clock on offense and finish drives with touchdowns. If the Spartans are able to do this, they should be able to outscore WKU and come away with a 5-0 start. Pound Green Pound is the name of the game this week.

Paul Fanson

Michigan State 42, Western Kentucky 20

For me, this picks comes down to man versus machine. The spread for this game opened at under 10 points, which to me was rather surprising. The computers (specifically mine as well as ESPN’s) project a much higher margin of victory. I think that the close shave last week will help to keep the Spartans motivated, and that they will dominate in all three phases of the game. This game should not be close and I don’t think that it will be.

Matt Sheehan

Michigan State 35, Western Kentucky 34

I haven’t slept well all week because of this game. The Hilltoppers scare me and they’ll make it close. So close, in fact, they will score in the closing moments of the game and WKU will go for two but come up just short.

Austen Flores

Michigan State 48, Western Kentucky 24

Mel Tucker has preached keeping the same mentality for each game regardless of the opponent. Although WKU is non-power 5, they’ve played Army and Indiana very closely and I expect them to at least make things interesting for a bit in east lansing. Spartans need to prove they are still contenders and will pull away in the end.

David Harns

Michigan State 38, Western Kentucky 20

Throughout the year, several members of TOC will participate in Big Ten picks using Tallysight. You can keep up with those picks here: