The Michigan State Spartans enter the 2015 campaign ranked 5th in the polls. That puts them a pretty good spot to start the season, but at the moment are playing second fiddle to the Ohio State Buckeyes. The joke was that the Spartans are the little brothers of the Wolverines, well without a doubt MSU are little brothers to Ohio State. The Buckeyes of course went on to win the National Championship last season, with the Spartans out of the playoff completely. Michigan State is looking for a better push this season in an attempt to get a spot in the NCAA playoff. They have a heck of a matchup on their hands next week against the Oregon Ducks, who were able to stop the Spartans last year. Now that Marcus Mariota is in the NFL, this game provides an ample opportunity for them to return the favor in 2015. However, before next week the Spartans have to contend with an in-state opponent, the Western Michigan Broncos. With Connor Coke at the controls for MSU, bypassing the NFL draft, the Spartans are going to have another strong team. Look for Coke to be in the talks for the Heisman if he gets off to a fast start and can knock the Ducks off next week.
The Spartans better not take the Broncos lightly. The MAC is not the Big 10, I can assure you that, but Western Michigan are the clear leaders of the MAC. WMU has a workhorse at running back that any team in the country would love to have in their backfield. Jarvion Franklin galloped for 1,551 yards with 24 touchdowns last season. He also hauled in 163 yards and an additional touchdown receiving. WMU will be relying on Franklin tonight and throughout the year. Note that Franklin accomplished all that as a rookie. Now with a year under his belt we’ll see if he can keep it up. The Broncos look to pull off the massive upset over the Spartans, who are looking to catch them looking ahead to next week against the Oregon Ducks.
Michigan State Spartans vs. Western Michigan Broncos Pick
Michigan State -17.5(-110)
@Western Michigan +17.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Michigan State vs. Western Michigan Pick:
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Spartans are looking ahead to next week. But they need to focus on the task at hand in Kalamazoo before anything else. If MSU just plays an average brand of football, they’re going to win this game. They may even cover by playing average, but sometimes in games like this teams get too comfortable and play down to their opponents. However, if there is any coach in he turned the country that is going to have his team ready to play, regardless of opponent, it’s Mark Dantonio. He turned Michigan State into a contender and has surpassed the Wolverines in the state of Michigan. The Broncos, another team from Michigan, will look to give MSU trouble. While the perception is that MSU is all defense, it was in fact the offense that catapulted them in 2014. Expect Cook to have the MSU offense looking great again this season. The Spartans went 8-2 scoring more than 30 points per game. Don’t be fooled, this is one capable offense in East Lansing.
MSU will be without the services of Ed Davis on defense this season. A huge blow, as Davis was the best linebacker on the roster and possibly the best overall defender. The Spartans also lost Trae Waynes, the ultra-talented cornerback who will be playing for the Minnesota Vikings this year. The Spartans will still have a solid defense, but I think the offense is going to have to carry them. The Broncos have a nice core of their offense returning in 2015. I suspect Jarvion Franklin is only going to get better from here, and they are also equipped with senior Zach Terrell at quarterback. Terrell is coming off a 3,500 yard season where he was responsible for 26 touchdowns. I see Cook jumping out to a big start for the Spartans. Franklin should get his yards for the Broncos, but they’re going to need to make some plays in the passing game to keep this one competitive. MSU has the most underrated offense in the country, they should be able to get their points Friday night. I want to take the Spartans, but fear a backdoor cover. Instead I’m going to take the OVER 57 and expect some points in Kalamazoo.
PICK: OVER 57 POINTS (-110)