Michigan State football vs. Penn State game predictions: Bowl eligibility or another loss?

Free Press sports writers share their predictions for the Michigan State football game against Penn State on Saturday (4 p.m., Fox Sports 1):

Carlos Monarrez

The lifeless husk of the Spartans’ corporeal being will drag itself into Beaver Stadium and function as nothing more than a stooge and a punching bag ready to be humiliated by 10th-ranked Penn State in its home finale. Michigan State won’t live down last week’s double-overtime home loss to Indiana for a long time. Maybe Mel Tucker gets his team to play for pride, but if the Spartans couldn’t muster enough pride on senior day in their home finale, it’s unlikely they’ll find enough pride to beat a Penn State team that has outscored Maryland and Rutgers, 85-10, the past two weeks. The pick: Penn State 41, MSU 18.

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Rainer Sabin

The Spartans blew their best shot at bowl eligibility when they squandered a 17-point lead and lost to Indiana in double-overtime last weekend. That deflating outcome may have broken the backs of a resilient team that has absorbed one hit after another during a during a disappointing season. With MSU hanging by a thread, Penn State pulls out the scissors and makes the final snip. The pick: Penn State 35, MSU 17.

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Jeff Seidel

Just when you think the Spartans have turned things around, just when you think MSU will be playing in a bowl, the second half against Indiana happened. Penn State doesn’t have a great team. But it’s about to put a fork into the Spartans season. The pick: Penn State 34, MSU 14.

Chris Solari

The fallout from the devastating loss to Indiana, matched with continuing personnel issues on defense and going on the road to a raucous Beaver Stadium, makes for too much to overcome to replicate the upset at Illinois. Payton Thorne and the run game struggle to sustain drives, compounding the time the Spartans’ defense must try and slow down the Nittany Lions. And so ends a volatile season, with a winter of recalibration ahead to try and get to a bowl game in 2023. The pick: Penn State 34, MSU 17.

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Shawn Windsor

The Nittany Lions are at home and have advantages on most spots on the field. The Spartans are banged up and ready for the season to be over. They might keep it close for a while until Penn State’s talent takes over in the second half. The pick: Penn State 37, MSU 17.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State football vs. Penn State game picks: Bowl eligibility?