BYU Cougars (2-3) at Michigan State Spartans (2-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 8, 2016, 3:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Michigan State Spartans -5.5 -- Over/Under:
The BYU Cougars and Michigan State Spartans square off in a key non-conference game Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
The BYU Cougars could use a big road victory for the first time this season in order to get back to a .500 record. Taysom Hill is completing 59.6 percent of his passes for 1,117 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. Hill has moved the chains 56 times through the air this season. Nick Kurtz and Colby Pearson have combined for 375 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Jonah Trinnaman has 12 receptions. The BYU Cougars ground game is averaging 200 yards per contest, and Jamaal Williams leads the way with 703 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, BYU is allowing 28.2 points and 444.2 yards per game. Butch Pau'u leads the Cougars with 42 tackles, Francis Bernard has two sacks and Kai Nacua has four interceptions.
The Michigan State Spartans hope to avoid three straight losses for the first time since the 2009 season. Tyler O'Connor is completing 60.7 percent of his passes for 918 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions. O'Connor has two or more touchdown passes in three of his four games this season. R.J. Shelton and Donnie Corley have combined for 468 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Monty Madaris has 15 receptions. The Michigan State Spartans ground game is averaging 170.2 yards per contest, and LJ Scott leads the way with 302 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Michigan State is allowing 23.8 points and 345.3 yards per game. Chris Frey leads the Spartans with 27 tackles, Raequan Williams has two sacks and Jon Reschke has one interception.
The Cougars are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game. The Spartans are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games and 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
Neither one of these teams look like we expected, as Michigan State has lost back-to-back games and BYU, a team that's supposed to be solid defensively, has allowed a combined 88 points in its last two games. It's hard to pick either side and be very confident. However, Michigan State is the more balanced team and should be able to move the ball on the Cougars given the way they've played defense the last couple of weeks. Also, remember that its been seven years since MSU has lost three games in a row.
I'll take Michigan State at home and the reasonable number.