Heading into the 2013 season, no one could have seen the Michigan State Spartans contending for a Big Ten title after the poor season they had in 2012. That is, no one outside of the program could have seen this happening. Michigan State has begun the season 8-1 and looking for their first ever appearance in a BCS bowl game.
Beginning the season as a favorite to win the Legends Division, the Nebraska Cornhuskers lost some respect after an early-season blowout loss at home to the UCLA Bruins but have since regrouped to push their record to 7-2. The winner of this game will likely be heading to the Big Ten title game.
Michigan State’s offense has been improving little by little this season and is a level above where it was a season ago. Connor Cook has taken over as quarterback of the Spartans after taking the job from senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell after week three. Cook has been solid this season, passing for 1,490 yards and 13 touchdowns with just two interceptions. His favorite target seems to be senior wide out Bennie Fowler who has 26 catches for 353 yards and five touchdowns. The run game has been solid even without Le’Veon Bell who left the team early for the NFL. Jeremy Langford leads the run game with 775 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first year as starter.
Nebraska will be without starting quarterback Taylor Martinez for the remainder of the season with a foot injury and it could keep him off any football field for up to eight months. Freshman quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. has been the guy to step in during Martinez’s absence as well as Ron Kellogg III. Armstrong gets most of the playing time, passing for 659 yards and five touchdowns to go along with six interceptions and a 55 percent completion rate. Ameer Abdullah is the one guy on offense that will be able to lead this team against the talented Spartans defense. He has 1,213 yards and seven rushing touchdowns in his junior campaign at running back.
Defensively, Nebraska ranks 37th in the nation in points allowed as well as 27th in yards allowed per game — quite the improvement from the mediocre unit a year ago. Michigan State has the No. 1 defense in the nation in terms of yards allowed per game — allowing just over 200 — and third in the nation in points allowed per game with just 11.6.
Michigan State will travel to Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 16. The game will be broadcasted on ABC and ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Michigan State 28, Nebraska 24