Michigan State Spartans (9-3) at Washington State Cougars (9-3)
|Date & Time||Thursday December 28, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Washington State Cougars +1.5 -- Over/Under: 47
The Washington State Cougars and Michigan State Spartans meet Thursday in the college football Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium.
The Washington State Cougars look for a bowl victory to win double-digit games for the first time since the 2003 season. The Washington State Cougars have split their last six bowl appearances. Luke Falk is completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 3,593 yards, 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Falk has three touchdown passes in four of his last seven games. Tavares Martin Jr. and Isaiah Johnson-Mack have combined for 1,386 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns while Renard Bell has 36 receptions. The Washington State Cougars ground game is averaging 71.6 yards per contest, and Jamal Morrow leads the way with 522 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Washington State is allowing 24.4 points and 313.6 yards per game. Jalen Thompson leads the Washington State Cougars with 69 tackles, Hercules Mata'afa has 9.5 sacks and Jalen Thompson has four interceptions.
The Michigan State Spartans look for a bowl victory to produce double-digit wins for the sixth time in the last eight years. The Michigan State Spartans have won four of their last five bowl appearances. Brian Lewerke is completing 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,580 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Lewerke has one or less touchdown passes in six of his last eight games. Felton Davis III and Darrell Stewart Jr. have combined for 1,144 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns while Cody White has 32 receptions. The Michigan State Spartans ground game is averaging 162.9 yards per contest, and LJ Scott leads the way with 788 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, Michigan State is allowing 20.3 points and 297.8 yards per game. Joe Bachie leads the Michigan State Spartans with 94 tackles, Kenny Willekes has seven sacks and David Dowell has five interceptions.
The Cougars are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. Big Ten and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Spartans are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games, 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games in December and 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games. The under is 6-2 in Spartans last 8 non-conference games and the under is 5-1 in Cougars last 6 non-conference games.
The Washington State Cougars have cooled off the last couple of months and have been exposed on the defensive end, allowing 21 or more points in five of their last six games. The Michigan State Spartans have had their hiccups here and there this season, but the defense has been very consistent and the ground game has improved with Scott leading the way. Michigan State has allowed 10 or less points in five of its last nine games. Washington State doesn't see these type of big, physical teams often in the Big Ten, and the Spartans are too well coached to get beat by a team that has no running game. The line movement on this game is crazy, but I like the Spartans to get the job done.