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TOC Staff Picks: Rutgers vs. Michigan State

The Spartans look to get back to .500.

Michigan State v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

With an upset win over Illinois last week, Michigan State has put itself back in the conversation of bowl eligibility.

Rutgers comes to town on Saturday looking to spoil that dream, but the Spartans enter as a near double-digit favorite. Our writers break down what to expect from MSU in this week’s contest.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 24, Rutgers 10

Rutgers has a strong defense that actually ranks 18th in the nation in yards per game allowed (310.6), but the Scarlet Knights are awful offensively (ranking 125th out of 131 teams in total offense and 114th in scoring offense). I expect the Scarlet Knights to be tough and gritty, and perhaps limit Michigan State’s offensive production, but at the end of the day, MSU most likely only needs to score around 21 points or so to win this one. Rutgers simply doesn’t have a stable quarterback situation and won’t be able to keep up with MSU for four quarters. It won’t always be pretty, but the Spartans get another win and get closer to bowl eligibility.

Paul Fanson

Michigan State 33, Rutgers 15

Things are looking up in East Lansing, which means that I am ready to be hurt again by Spartan football. But I don’t really think that will happen. If nothing else, it’s Rutgers (and I mean that in the nicest possible way). The Spartans appear galvanized and ready to make a late-season push toward some version of the postseason. I envision Michigan State getting out to an early lead and then coasting to a double-digit win with some confusing clock management and special teams play along the way. What can I say? I am just playing the odds.

Zach Manning

Michigan State 28, Rutgers 24

I think this one will be close throughout, but with it being a home game for the Spartans, I think they can get it done. Running back Elijah Collins breaks out for 100-plus yards and two scores.

Kevin Knight

Michigan State 21, Rutgers 17

Michigan State will not quite live up to the expectations once given to a team playing Rutgers during the Chris Ash years and following a big road win over a ranked opponent. Still the Spartans will dig down deep and get the victory in this one.

Brendan Moore

Michigan State 24, Rutgers 17

This will be a defensive battle. Rutgers isn’t a great passing team, so the Michigan State defense should sell out to stop the run. Turnovers and points off the turnovers will be the key stats in this game.

The Spartans will have some semblance of success on the ground, which will open up the passing game. Michigan State wins this game to get back to .500, but Rutgers will play the Spartans tough.


Michigan State 28, Rutgers 23

It took a valiant effort versus Illinois, down eight players due to suspension and several others due to injury, to come out with a surprise victory in Champaign. Those players are still out due to suspension and I’m pessimistic that Michigan State’s injury situation improves over the week.

Rutgers does have a truly terrible offense, but the Scarlet Knights are competent enough on defense and in special teams to make for an aggravating game. I predict an uncomfortable and close struggle against a team that is also desperate for wins for bowl eligibility.

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.