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TOC Staff Picks: Maryland vs. Michigan State

The Spartans are in need of a bounce back win after losing their first game of the season last week.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Purdue Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State had its first blunder of the season last week in a loss to Purdue, but the Spartans still control their own destiny in the Big Ten and in the College Football Playoff.

The Maryland Terrapins have one of the more prolific passing attacks in the Big Ten, which has proven to be effective against the Spartans this season. Still, MSU is favored by double-digits and is expected to win this game.

A win would set the Spartans up with a top-10 clash against Ohio State. See what our writers have to say about MSU’s chances against the Terrapins.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 38, Maryland 27

I expect both offenses to move the ball with ease against poor defensive units, but I expect the Spartans to improve somewhat in the secondary play after the coaching staff has had a week to break down the film and make the proper adjustments. Maryland still puts up a decent amount of points, but Michigan State bounces back and wins by double-digits.

Paul Fanson

Michigan State 41, Maryland 16

My computer seems to be considerably more confident in the Spartans this week than I am. While the pass-happy Terrapins’ offense might remind us a bit too much of Purdue, the numbers suggest that Maryland is more in a peer group with teams like Miami, Western Kentucky, Indiana and Rutgers. MSU beat those teams by an average of 15 points and three of those contests were on the road. I will go ahead and predict a surprisingly comfortable bounce-back win.

Matt Sheehan

Michigan State 83, Maryland 81

MSU is coming off a game where it gave up four billion passing yards to Purdue. Now — with two somewhat healthy players, a leftover Jack-O-Lantern and Bill Beekman making up the cornerback depth this week — I don’t see how it gets any better. However, the offense should be fine enough to keep up with the Terps. Let’s just all try to survive and advance this one.

Zach Manning

Michigan State 48, Maryland 38

I mean, I expect there to be a bunch of points in this game. Maryland loves the passing game, and Purdue showed you can beat the Spartans by doing just that. I’d be surprised if Maryland runs much at all.

Still, I think Kenneth Walker III and the rest of the offense score enough to win this game, and the Spartans roll into Columbus with the opportunity to make a statement.

Kevin Knight

Michigan State 42, Maryland 28

This game feels like “late season scaries” written all over it. The Terps are not a great team, but man do they have a potentially lethal passing attack if things are clicking. MSU, meanwhile, is awfully banged up in the secondary. However, the Spartans overall are a more complete team and should be able to ride Kenneth Walker III to a huge Heisman stat-padding performance and avoid another loss.

Justin Walsh

Michigan State 42, Maryland 31

This game is going to be closer than it logically should be with a lot of points scored on both sides. Taulia Tagovailoa is second in the Big Ten in passing yards and has good weapons to throw to, including Rakim Jarrett who was stepped up in the absence of Dontay Demus Jr. The Terrapins will put up yards and points against a suspect Michigan State secondary, but the Spartan offense will have their way as they bounce back after the loss to Purdue.


Michigan State 34, Maryland 27

After starting out 4-0, Maryland has gone 1-4 over the past five games, with the Terrapins’ sole win versus an Indiana team in free fall. The Terps do pose a threatening opponent though, as quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa is currently first in the Big Ten in passes attempted and passes completed, second in passing touchdowns (behind Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud), and second to only Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell (remember him?) in pass completion percentage, connecting on 70.5 percent of his throws.

Yes, MSU will likely be without Jalen Nailor and Jarrett Horst on offense, along with cornerback Charles Brantley on defense, but Maryland is often sloppy with turnovers and penalties, leaving points on the board from empty drives, or aiding opponents in cashing in on their own opportunities. I’ll take MSU to bounce back in the home game versus the Terps.

Matt Hoeppner

Michigan State 32, Maryland 27

Once again, this will be closer than anyone would prefer. But I don’t think Maryland’s defense is any good at all and I expect Michigan State to run a more ball control offense to keep the Terp passing game on the sideline as much as possible. The blood will be pumping until the end, but MSU gets the win at home in the neon uniforms.

David Harns

Michigan State 37, Maryland 20

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