Well it can only get better for Michigan State…
After the 29-7 loss to Michigan, Michigan State travels to No. 16 Illinois to try and keep its postseason hopes alive. The Spartans need to win three of their final four contests to make a bowl game.
Illinois owns the best scoring defense in the country, but is tied for 85th in scoring offense. Michigan State ranks 93rd in scoring offense (24.3 points per game). It’s going to be another tough matchup for the Spartans as they try to overcome a very stingy defense.
Michigan State on Defense
MSU played really well against Michigan. If not for its sputtering offense and special team blunders, it would’ve been a much closer game. It will be tough for MSU without linebacker Jacoby Windmon and defensive end Zion Young. The team should struggle because of all the suspensions.
Michigan State on Offense
The offense wasn’t impacted by suspensions the same way as the defense. But offensive coordinator Jay Johnson still needs to figure things out, as many Spartan fans are frustrated with his play calling. Fans have been calling for defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton to be fired for weeks. But now that has flipped, with many wanting Johnson fired instead.
Michigan State needs to find more ways to get the ball to dynamic receivers Jayden Reed and Keon Coleman. Coleman is an absolute baller who went off in the Michigan game when he got the opportunity. The offensive line is banged up and I expect them to struggle against the Illini defense.
Illinois on Offense
Illinois is dangerous on offense. Running back Chase Brown leads the way with 1,208 yards and 5 touchdowns on 224 attempts. He is the most underrated RB in the nation, and doesn’t get enough credit. Tommy DeVito isn’t the most threatening quarterback in the world, but he protects the ball and has thrown just two interceptions. DeVito has 1,594 yards passing and 12 TDs on the year. Expect him to add to those totals after this game against Michigan State. His top receiving target is Isaiah Williams, who has 56 catches for 439 yards and 3 TDs. It will be interesting to see how MSU handles him and Brown.
Illinois on Defense
The Illinois defense is led by safety Sydney Brown, who has three interceptions, seven pass deflections, a forced fumble, and 22 tackles this year. Payton Thorne should also watch out for defensive lineman Keith Randolph, who has four sacks, 15 solo tackles, and an interception on the season. Cornerback Devon Witherspoon and linebacker Seth Coleman are also talented defenders. This Illinois defense may have a field day against MSU.
It’s a tough matchup for the Spartans. Therefore, I’m going with Illinois to win. But I don’t think they cover the 16-point spread.