MSU concludes the football season on the road at Happy Valley. The game is being broadcast Saturday on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. EST. The weather forecast for kick-off is Partly Cloudy and a temperature of 38. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY. . . FOR FOOTBALL!
By now, Spartan Nation is aware that MSU plays the spoiler role for the second consecutive week. PSU (9-2) can win the Big 10 East Division with a win over MSU (3-8) and a win by OSU over the Weasels. Believe it or not, if this scenario plays out, there is talk about PSU making the College Playoff. Fear Not! It doesn’t matter because MSU wins this game. So far, MSU has yet to pull off an upset in 2016. Well Spartan Fans, this is it.
On paper, PSU is more than a worthy opponent. When they have the ball, watch for QB Trace McSorley (QB Rating 64) to launch bomb after bomb in the direction of Chris Goodwin (42 receptions, 627 yds, 7 TD’s) or handing off the ball to Saquon Barkley (1,205 yds, 5.6 yards/carry, 14 TD’s). McSorley isn’t really flashy but, much like Weasels’ QB Wilton Speight, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. On the year, McSorley has thrown for 17 touchdowns with only 5 interceptions. And when it comes time to kick, Tyler Davis is reliable- perfect on PATs (44) and 20 out of 22 on Field Goals with the longest score from only 40 yards. But with an average of 35 pts per game, PSU hasn’t needed to call on Tyler to make the “big boot.” Nice!
In comparison, MSU’s Tyler O’Connor sports a Total QB Rating 68.3 and 16 passes for touchdown and 9 interceptions. MSU’s running game belongs to LJ Scott (935 yards and 6 TD’s) and Gerald Holmes (5 TD’s). And, RJ Shelton (49 catches, 5 TD’s) and Josiah Price (34 catches, 5 TD’s) combine as TOC’s primary threats through the air. Michael Geiger is perfect on PAT’s (30 for 30) and 11 for 15 on Field Goals with the longest being 52 yards.
The QB rating is complicated. A rating of 50 is “average.” Blah, Blah, Blah. . . There are a ton of metrics to gauge what a Quarterback contributes to a team’s success. For those who embrace sports metrics, check out Wikipedia:
The long and short of this is that TOC has a higher rating that McSorley. SpartyMSU feels whomever makes the fewest mistakes gets the win for his team. TOC’s advantage is that PSU allows an average of 24 points per game. After last week’s performance, MSU knows it can move the ball against even the stingiest Defense. There won’t be much of a challenge moving the ball against PSU.
Prediction: George says, “Touchdown MSU” four times. MSU 28, PSU 17.
Meanwhile, one of America’s favorite television shows on CBS acknowledges what Spartan Nation already knew about a certain coach in the Big 10.
Happy Thanksgiving! And, Go Green!