Michigan State football vs. Pitt: Will Spartans end season with Peach Bowl victory?

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Michigan State football vs. Pitt: Will Spartans end season with Peach Bowl victory?
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Michigan State’s highly anticipated Peach Bowl matchup with Pitt is finally here, and we have one final batch of predictions for it.

The Spartans enter this game 10-2 on the season, but will be without their top player in running back Kenneth Walker III — who has entered the NFL Draft and opted out of the bowl game. Pitt is 11-2 on the year, with an ACC Championship under their belts. However, the Panthers will also be without their star player as quarterback Kenny Pickett has elected to also sit out the bowl game in preparation for the NFL Draft.

Can Michigan State end the season on a high note with a victory over Pitt in the Peach Bowl? Let’s see what the Spartans Wire staff thinks in our weekly predictions.

Andrew Brewster

Nick King/Lansing State Journal

Prediction: MSU 35, Pitt 17

Both teams may be missing their best player, but I think that Pitt will suffer more during this one from the loss of Pickett than MSU will losing Walker. I expect Payton Thorne to dice up the Pittsburgh defense along with his buddy Jayden Reed as the Spartans take this one.

Cory Linsner

Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports

Prediction: MSU 38, Pitt 34

Michigan State’s defensive upgrades won’t be here in time for the bowl game, and I haven’t forgotten how horrendous the pass defense was. Even without Pickett, Pitt will be able to move the ball, but I think Payton Thorne gives MSU just enough to push through.

Robert Bondy

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Prediction: MSU 31, Pitt 27

Both of my peers have already hit on the main element of this game that both teams are shorthanded, and because of that it’s hard to truly predict how this one will play out. However, I do believe the Spartans have more pure firepower offensively and losing Walker isn’t as a big of a deal as Pitt losing their Heisman finalist quarterback. The Spartans win this one in a close back-and-forth battle until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

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