Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in Michigan State Spartans fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
Michigan State is gearing up for the program’s biggest game since 2015. This weekend everything from an undefeated season to bragging rights are on the line against Michigan. With all that at stake, MSU fans expect their stars to shine.
Despite some uneasy feelings following the Indiana game, fans have regained confidence in the team. In the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, MSU fans showed their complete certainty that the Spartans would beat Michigan this weekend.
If that is to happen, the Spartans would undoubtedly need their best players to make a big splash. The most interesting matchup in the game is likely going to be which team can win the ground battle. Michigan’s two-headed attack of Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins against Heisman hopeful Kenneth Walker III. Michigan State fans are confident the Spartans’ star will win the day.
If Walker does have a big day, it may be due to a successful passing game taking some of the Michigan pressure off of the run defense. So far, Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne has done enough to get the wins even when Walker is slowed.
Michigan State fans think Thorne will do more than just enough this weekend, according to the survey. Nearly a full 100 percent of MSU fans think Thorne will throw multiple touchdown passes against Michigan.
It’s hard to come up with any situation where Michigan State scores twice through the air and sees Walker out-rush the Michigan backs, and still loses.
Earning a win over No. 6 Michigan would launch the Spartans into a new stratosphere of opportunities this season. Even with a game against Ohio State looming, the Spartans would be in primed position to reach the College Football Playoff.
An undefeated Michigan State at the end of the season would earn the respect of fans around the country. More than three-fourths of fans around the country think an undefeated MSU team deserves a playoff bid ahead of even undefeated Oklahoma. The Sooners have had some up-and-down performances, and even finishing undefeated in the Big 12 doesn’t seem enough to surpass an undefeated Big Ten team.
Everything on the line this weekend hasn’t gone unnoticed by the national audience either. The battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy was picked widely as the Game of the Week by national Reacts voters.
The next closest choice is the other major Big Ten matchup, with eight percent of fans picking Penn State at Ohio State.
Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game, Michigan State fans will have a wildly different outlook on things next week. To participate in the next round of Reacts questions, click here to sign up.