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TOC Staff Picks: Youngstown State vs. Michigan State

The Spartans look to move to 2-0 in first home game of the season

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Northwestern Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State dominated Northwestern in the season opener, defeating the Wildcats 38-21. The Spartans will now get what should be a softer opponent in Youngstown State.

The Penguins had amn opening week win as well, but the Spartans are expected to control this game from start to finish. However, with a trip to Miami looming, the Spartans don’t want to be caught looking ahead.

Will the Spartans coast to victory? See what our writers think.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 47, Youngstown State 17

The Youngstown State defense allowed 41 points and 490 yards of offense to Incarnate Word, so I think it is safe to say that the Michigan State offense — led by Kenneth Walker III — will have its way with the Penguins. Where things get interesting is the Youngstown State offense, especially the Penguins’ rushing attack, led by quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw and running back Jaleel McLaughlin. The Penguins rushed for 351 yards last week, and had 463 total yards of offense. The Spartans played a kind of “bend but don’t break” defense against Northwestern, and if that is the case again this week, expect Crenshaw and McLaughlin to move the ball and get yards through a lot of run-pass option plays, but for MSU to ultimately limit YSU’s opportunities to actually get on the scoreboard too often.

Kevin Knight

Michigan State 55, Youngstown State 10

If the game isn’t over by halftime, then that might be a little concerning. Michigan State should roll and use this opportunity to flush out the depth chart a bit. I expect we see Anthony Russo getting reps under center to compare what he can offer for fans as well.

Paul Fanson

Michigan State 45, Youngstown State 9

I basically let my computer make all the picks, but I don’t track FCS teams and have no way to accurately assess how good they are. I basically assume that they are all equally as good as the worst FBS team. I would expect MSU to tighten some screws and play pretty well. I expect Kenneth Walker III to rack up a lot of yards, unless the coaching staff decides to put him on ice against the Penguins. I expect Payton Thorne to look a little sharper, and I expect the Spartans to win by a lot and enjoy the sweet taste of victory. My not-very-confident computer did spit out two numbers, so sure. I will go with that.

Zach Manning

Michigan State 41, Youngstown State 13

I think Kenneth Walker and Michigan State have more success on the ground and cruise to victory in this one. Payton Thorne will show more than he did against Northwestern and the Spartans roll into a key game against Miami looking to remain undefeated.

David Harns

Michigan State 48, Youngstown State 13

Spartan Stadium is rocking, the band sounds awesome, and the players are Swag Surfin’. In the end, MSU is victorious and the backups get a good amount of playing time.

Matt Hoeppner

Michigan State 42, Youngstown State 17

The Spartans take care of business easily in front of the home fans, who will be hyped like it’s a November game against a B1G opponent. MSU’s offense has no issues with the Penguin defense and controls the game from the start. YSU has a couple nice drives thanks to the team’s dual-threat quarterback, but this one is never in doubt. Spartans move to 2-0 before heading to Miami next weekend.

Austen Flores

Michigan State 41, Youngstown State 13

The Spartans carry solid momentum into Saturday and the fan base will finally get to see Mel Tucker’s crew in action. Expect experimentation with different units, even more than what we saw versus Northwestern. No matter what, football is back and Spartan Stadium will be electric.

Matt Sheehan

Michigan State 42, Youngstown State 28

MSU cruises into the second half that has the Swag Surfin’ crowd feeling comfortable, but a pair of late Penguins’ touchdowns tightens up the shirt collar a bit.


Michigan State 38, Youngstown State 17.

I think this game may be a little disjointed at times with MSU working in a lot of different personnel. MSU covers the spread and will head to Miami 2-0.

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