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TOC Staff Picks: Michigan State vs. Maryland

Can MSU break its two-game losing streak?

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

After a pair of wins to open the season, Michigan State has dropped its last two contests, albeit to a pair of solid squads in Washington and Minnesota.

But for a team that began the season in the top-25, the Spartans need to find an answer for their recent struggles. MSU has a chance to get back on track with a trip to Maryland on Saturday.

If you look at betting odds, they will tell you that MSU will be in some trouble, as the Terrapins are listed as 7.5-point favorites. Our writers break down the matchup and discuss whether or not MSU can bounce back.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 30, Maryland 28

This is a must-win game for Michigan State, so it’s now or never for the Spartans. Both of these defenses struggle to stop opposing offenses. There could be some bad weather with heavy rain, due to Hurricane Ian, which could actually help MSU win this game. Also, it seems that Maryland Taulia Tagovailoa and wide receiver Rakim Jarrett could be playing at less than 100 percent, which also bodes well for the Spartans. Despite weather or injuries, though, I have very little faith in MSU’s pass defense. However, I also have very little faith in Maryland’s defense. Michigan State’s offense finally wakes up and wins a close one.

Paul Fanson

Maryland 31, Michigan State 25

(My computer) and I have been the voice of optimism over the past few weeks regarding the Spartans, but after last week’s performance versus the Gophers, I am in “I will believe it when I see it” mode. Maryland played Michigan tough on the road last week and I have a hard time believing that Michigan State will be able to keep a lid on the Terps’ offense. That said, the health of Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa looms large. If he is limited, it might be enough to allow Payton Thorne and the Spartan offense to win in a shoot-out.

Kevin Knight

Maryland 35, Michigan State 21

Saturday will mark my fourth time at a MSU game at UMD. It will also probably move MSU’s record in those games I have attended to 2-2. Do I want to pick a win here? Yes. But as the saying goes: “Fool me once? Shame on you. Fool me twice? Shame on me.” So come on, fool me a third time? That is just history repeating itself because I’m being too dumb to read the signs, and sadly the signs are that the rebuild is going to make this year a rough one.

Zach Manning

Maryland 38, Michigan State 24

Until something changes defensively, MSU cannot be trusted to win games against quality opponents. Maryland has a solid passing attack and looked really good against Michigan last week.

MSU has been starting slow, and I think that trend will continue. MSU gets down a couple scores early and isn’t able to mount a comeback.

Brendan Moore

Maryland 38, Michigan State 24

Michigan State will be able to run the football better than it did against Washington and Minnesota. That will open up the pass more. The Spartans will put points up on the board.

Taulia Tagovailoa will be able to throw the ball all day against this Michigan State pass defense, however. Expect Tagovailoa and the Maryland receivers to have a field day. The Terrapins win 38-24.


Michigan State 31, Maryland 27

“Did we give up after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Nothing is over until we decide it is!”

When it comes to college football sometimes you have to forget known facts and embrace the chaos and craziness which reigns supreme. Every season there’s a game or two for a team where you say “How’d that happen?”, whether good or bad.

Looks like College Park may be rainy and cool, so there’s potential for sloppy play and turnovers (as one of five of the 131 FBS teams without an interception they are due to luck into one.) Also, odds are the crowd won’t play a role in creating a hostile environment. Inclement weather can lead to surprising scoring, as illustrated by last season’s snowy regular season finale for MSU versus PSU.

I’m throwing logic to the wind, except a team that was embarrassed will be motivated to keep its bowl hopes attainable. MSU wins with random chaos in their corner.

Amani Godfrey

Maryland 38, Michigan State 21

It’s a battle of former Nick Saban assistants in College Park, Maryland on Saturday with a former Nick Saban quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa starting for the Terps. After repeatedly getting torched by Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan last week, we can expect much of the same against the Terps this week. Maryland’s weapons on the offensive side of the ball pose a very tough task for this poor Michigan State secondary, and the unit could be in for another rough week. If the Spartans cannot stretch the field in the passing game again, this will not be much of a game.

Paolo Giannandrea

Maryland 38, Michigan State 24

MSU makes some adjustments after two abysmal showings, but Taulia Tagovailoa leading Maryland’s potent passing attack is too much to handle even on a good day. The Spartans keep it close through three quarters, but Maryland pulls away late.

Brad LaPlante

Maryland 24, Michigan State 20

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.