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TOC Staff Picks: Michigan State vs. Penn State

The Spartans aim for bowl eligibility.

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

After falling to Indiana in double overtime last week, Michigan State has one more opportunity to gain guaranteed bowl eligibility before the season is over. The Spartans travel to Penn State for a clash with the Nittany Lions on Saturday afternoon.

Penn State enters as the favorite and is ranked inside the top-11. Our writers break down the final week of the regular season.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 31, Penn State 28

There is no reason to believe Michigan State wins this game, but college football is weird, and I just have a gut feeling that MSU pulls off the upset over Penn State to secure a bowl bid.

Paul Fanson

Penn State 39, Michigan State 14

Michigan State’s series with Penn State has an interesting quirk. Since 1997, the team that has won the game has also covered the spread in 21 out of 22 contests. If this trend continues, the Spartans will either get the upset win or be blown out. Unfortunately, my computer and I are leaning toward “getting blown out.” The MSU team has had a lot of adversity to overcome this year and it just feels like the tank is empty. Then again, whenever you look across the field and see James Franklin on the opposite sideline, you know that your team has a chance.

Kevin Knight

Penn State 35, Michigan State 10

The 2022 season is almost to a close. The long fall nightmare is almost over. Get into the offseason, get healthy and figure out how to make the offensive line better and the defense actually capable of consistently stopping an opponent. Oh yeah, and for the love of all that is special teams find a field goal kicker.

Zach Manning

Penn State 38, Michigan State 17

Missing so many players to injury and suspension, I just don’t see how Michigan State can hang in this game for very long. Penn State is a very good football team and MSU will have to hope a 5-7 record is enough to receive an invite to a bowl game.

Brendan Moore

Penn State 31, Michigan State 14

Penn State will pretty much dominate this game. The Nittany Lions are better at the line of scrimmage and they will run the football a lot. Michigan State will hang around in the first half. The Spartans will play with a chip on their shoulder, but Penn State will pull away in the end.


Penn State 34, Michigan State 17

The Spartans are coming off a gutting double overtime loss to Indiana, which would have cemented a bowl invitation with a win for MSU, while the Nittany Lions are on pace for a New York Six bowl with a victory this weekend.

PSU has some of the best defensive backs in the Big Ten Conference, which isn’t helpful as Michigan State’s best opportunities for scoring are through the air. While not consistent, Penn State has been more effective in Sean Clifford’s final season of his career.

I predict a loss without much suspense, a frustrating season comes to an end.

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.