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TOC Staff Picks: Wisconsin vs. Michigan State

The Spartans will look to snap a four-game losing streak.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan State Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State comes in having lost four-straight games, while Wisconsin is under the direction of new head coach Jim Leonhard and sitting at 3-3.

The Badgers are currently favored by about a touchdown for Saturday’s game, and the line has continued to rise throughout the week. Our writers break down what MSU has to do to get back in the win column.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 28, Wisconsin 24

Michigan State has to win this game to keep bowl hopes alive. MSU comes out energized and focused for homecoming weekend, but Wisconsin plays tough and the game is close throughout. While the Spartans have not given me any proof of an ability to win Big Ten games yet, ultimately, I just have a gut feeling that Michigan State pulls this one out.

Kevin Knight

Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 21

My heart says Michigan State has a chance, but my head says the talent just isn’t there. Oh how much I hope I am truly wrong and the Spartans’ snap the losing streak.

Paul Fanson

Wisconsin 29, Michigan State 23

At this point, my head (and my calculations) suggest that this game is going to end up right around where the Vegas spread said that it will end up. The Spartans need to prove that they can actually beat a Power Five team in 2022.

That said, my heart says that the Spartans are humbled and hungry and perhaps a little more healed up than they have been in weeks. Th Badgers thinks that they turned their season around last week in a blowout win at Northwestern, but did they? The Spartans are at home and frankly need a win more than the Badgers. My heart is significantly more optimistic than my head.

Zach Manning

Wisconsin 31, Michigan State 13

Michigan State is simply a bad football team. There is no other way to put it. The offense looks awful, and we know about the defensive issues this team has had over the last few years.

Wisconsin will have no issue shutting down the MSU offense, and the Badgers will find enough holes in the Spartans’ defense to put up a decent number of points. At this rate, I’m not sure if MSU will win another game this season.


Michigan State 27, Wisconsin 24

In Mel Tucker’s three previous seasons as a head coach, he has pulled off at least one upset every season. While beating Wisconsin wouldn’t be a monumental upset, it would be a surprise based on statistical models and sports betting books.

With it being homecoming weekend at MSU, and while it seems Wisconsin has some internal strife, I feel this is a spot the Spartans can coalesce for a moment as a competent enough team to come out with a win. Michigan State finds enough of a passing game to get some scores while the defense possibly returns some talent (Jacob Slade?), which allows them to stymie the Badger offense.

Brendan Moore

Wisconsin 28, Michigan State 17

Wisconsin just fired its head coach Paul Chryst, but the Badgers are better off without him. It was only a matter of time before Jim Leonhard got an opportunity. Graham Mertz isn’t the greatest quaeterback of all time, but he will find success against the MSU pass defense. The Wisconsin receivers, Chimere Dike, Skyler Bell, etc, are underrated.

The Badgers will cause some trouble for the Michigan State offensive line. They have some NFL talent on the defense. I sound like a broken record, but Michigan State needs to get the run game going. If the run game doesn’t reach 100 yards, MSU will have a hard time scoring points.

Amani Godfrey

Wisconsin 27, Michigan State 20

Just one week after firing head coach Paul Chryst, Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz had one of his best games as a Badger. Mertz threw for five touchdowns and 300 yards against Northwestern. Expect Wisconsin’s interim head coach, Jim Leonhard, to keep that momentum rolling into East Lansing on Saturday against one of the worst-coached secondaries in the sport.

Justin Walsh

Michigan State 28, Wisconsin 24

Finally, a game that doesn’t seem hopelessly out of reach. On a serious note, Wisconsin has had some bad losses this season and with an interim head coach behind the wheel, Michigan State should be able to scrape out a (probably ugly) victory at home for homecoming.

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.