Free Press sports writers share their predictions for the Michigan State Spartans' game against Ohio State on Saturday (4 p.m., ABC) in East Lansing:
ABC's broadcast should come with a parental warning: Not suitable for children, billionaire donors or fans who are still clinging to the hope of a respectable season. But hey, there's always the chance C.J. Stroud's arm gets too tired to throw for 400 yards. If the Spartans come out of this game without any major injuries, consider it a moral victory that only helps their chances of victory next week against Wisconsin. The pick: Ohio State 55, Michigan State 17.
Before this season, MSU was hopeful that its Oct. 8 meeting with Ohio State would be a marquee matchup. It is in some ways. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, after all, will be on hand to call the game for ABC. But they will have plenty of air to fill in the second half after the Buckeyes whip up on the Spartans and become the latest opponent to expose their lack of complementary football. The pick: Ohio State 52, Michigan State 14.
The interesting part of this game — nah, who are we kidding? Nothing about this game even sounds remotely interesting. So let me make a prediction, if only to break up the monotony of watching the Buckeyes score touchdown after touchdown. Stroud is going to walk away from this game with national player of the week honors. The pick: Ohio State 48, Michigan State 17.
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The Spartans' pass defense, while showing signs of improvement in the second half at Maryland, remains its biggest weakness. Not far behind are their struggling run game and offensive line. All things the Buckeyes should be able to exploit early and often for a similar blowout to the past two meetings between these programs that, not that long ago, battled each other for Big Ten supremacy. The pick: Ohio State 51, Michigan State 14.
Let’s be generous because the Buckeyes could pick their score, as they did a year ago. The Spartans would do well to keep this a game into the second quarter. The pick: Ohio State 45, Michigan State 16.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State football predictions vs. Ohio State: Hope for Spartans?