Michigan State vs. Youngstown State
If you are a fan of hard-nosed defensive football you don’t have to look much farther than East Lansing, Michigan to find one of the best defenses in the country. For Spartans fans, that’s the good news. The bad news? Michigan State’s offense is one of the most anemic in the country. The Spartans have scored six touchdowns in two games to start the season – four of those have come from the defense.
For the second straight week, MSU got two scores from the defense in an ugly victory over South Florida. Shilique Calhoun returned a fumble for the Spartans’ only first half score and took an interception to the house in the second half to put MSU up 14-6. On the whole, the defense stifled the Bulls’ offense allowing a mere 66 yards passing and 89 yards on the ground.
MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is desperately looking for answers at the quarterback position. Dantonio tried three different signal callers against South Florida including redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor. But MSU could only muster 6 (six!) completions in 26 attempts. At this point there appears to be no answer in sight given that Sparty was unable to do anything offensively against the likes of Western Michigan and South Florida – especially considering Western Michigan lost to Nicholls State and South Florida was routed by McNeese State in their only other games of the season.
So what looked like a day at the beach against Youngstown State before the season started, now has a slightly different feel to it. The Penguins coasted to victory against two pushovers (even by FCS standards) in the first two weeks, but they’ll need to pull out every trick in the book to get in the end zone against Michigan State. Youngstown State hung around with MSU when the two teams previously met a couple of years ago so the Penguins know what they’re in for this weekend.
Key stats: MSU quarterbacks combined to go 6 of 26 through the air against South Florida.
What will happen: It’s hard to tell what Youngstown State brings to the table but we know what to expect from Michigan State. The Spartans will get another defensive touchdown and probably one from the offense. Youngstown State put up 67 points against MSU a week ago – but that was Morehead State. This week, not so much.
Prediction: Michigan State 20 Youngstown State 9
The Play: UNDER 40
2013 ATS Record: 4-2
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