Michigan State vs. BYU prediction and game preview. The Spartans host the Cougars on Saturday looking to avoid a third straight loss.
Michigan State vs. BYU Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 8 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
TV Broadcast: ABC/ESPN2
Michigan State’s hopes of returning to the College Football Playoff basically vanished with last week’s 24-21 overtime loss at Indiana. Playing in the same Big Ten division as Ohio State and Michigan, the Spartans’ chances of going to the conference championship game no appear slim as well. They’re on the verge of losing more than two games for the first time in four seasons.
Michigan State also hasn’t lost three consecutive games since 2009, but a loss to BYU would end that streak. The Cougars snapped a three-game skid of their own with a wild 55-53 home win over Toledo on Friday night, as Rhett Almond hit a 19-yard field goal as time expired.
What to Know About Michigan State
Critical mistakes, a lack of discipline and spotty play in the secondary all were evident in the loss to the Hoosiers. The final penalty was the most costly – a personal foul for leaping when Indiana missed a field goal attempt in overtime. The call gave the Hoosiers another chance – 15 yards closer – that sailed through the uprights.
There are major issues with pass defense, too, as the Spartans continue to allow third-down conversions at an alarming rate. BYU might not be throwing all that much, though, after last week’s success on the ground.
What to Know About BYU
Jamaal Williams had a huge game against Toledo, running 30 times for 286 yards and five touchdowns. It’s the third game of at least 160 yards rushing for Williams, who might have a tougher time breaking through this week. Michigan State opponents are averaging just 3.1 yards per carry on the season.
Taysom Hill will have to be better when the Cougars put the ball in the air. Hill has five touchdown passes and seven interceptions, including tossing three picks in a game twice. He’s had some success running, though, with two contests of at least 87 yards rushing.
Offense: Even – BYU has put up over 500 yards in each of its last two games. Tyler O’Connor threw three touchdowns last week for the Spartans, who also have a solid running attack.
Defense: Michigan State – The Cougars have allowed 88 points in their last two games and surrendered nearly 700 yards of offense to Toledo last week.
Special Teams: BYU – Cougars have missed only one of nine field-goal attempts and it was from over 50 yards.
Coaching: Michigan State – Mark Dantonio should be able to get his team to bounce back after two tough losses.
Intangibles: BYU – The Cougars will be prepared if the game is close late. Their five games have been decided by a combined 11 points, although they’ve lost three of them.
Matchup To Watch
Tyler O’Connor vs. BYU’s pass defense
O’Connor has had his issues adjusting to the starting role, throwing five interceptions. But BYU allowed Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside to throw for 505 yards last week, and O’Connor has a legit deep threat in freshman Donnie Corley.
Spread: Michigan State -5.5
Michigan State vs. BYU Prediction
Michigan State finally gets back on the right track as O’Connor tosses three more touchdowns while the Spartans contain Williams in the running game.
Michigan State vs. BYU final score prediction: Michigan State 31, BYU 20