Michigan State travels to College Park to take on Maryland Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The game is set to air on FS1.

Michigan State vs. Maryland preview

Something is going on in East Lansing, Michigan.

The Spartans started the year 2-0 and have since fallen to 2-2 after losing a pair to a couple of Power 5 opponents. Basically, Michigan State has beaten inferior teams yet looked inferior against programs it should match up well with (on paper).

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As the college football season soldiers on, we will learn more about the college football landscape – who’s for real, who’s pretend and who just doesn’t (or does) have luck on their side. What will we learn Saturday from the Spartans and Terrapins?

For starters, we’ll learn if Maryland can really hang with the big boys of the B1G. The Terrapins looked good against the No. 4 team in the nation despite a gut punch on the first play of the game, giving the Wolverines an early 7-0 lead. Losing at the Big House by just 7 points in the manner they did could have the Terrapins thinking they’re for real.

And perhaps they are. Taulia Tagovailoa, though he still has plenty to polish, is looking as dangerous as any signal caller in the conference right now. If he can play against Michigan State after exiting early with an injury, Maryland’s chances should look favorable at home.

There’s another “if” though. Rakim Jarrett is also a game-time decision for the Terrapins, which would be a massive blow to an offense that thrives on its passing attack.

Neither defense has gotten off to an excellent start this season. Michigan State’s Jacoby Windmon has been the sole bright spot on a defense allowing 31 points per game to Power 5 opponents. The Terrapins, on the other hand, allowed 520 total yards to SMU in a shootout victory.

Maryland will find it especially difficult to stop the run. Michigan, yes, with Blake Corum in the backfield, rushed for 6.1 yards per carry against the Terrapins. Michigan State’s rushing attack has not been on the level of Corum and the Wolverines, but it should be steady enough to be the game plan for the Spartans.

Maryland vs. Michigan State Prediction

Mel Tucker’s crew is starving for a win, and the potential absence of Tagovailoa and Jarrett does not look good for the Terrapins. For what it’s worth, both players are currently considered as progressing well through recovery. For now, the right move is to just assume they will play.

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Maryland playing at home in College Park helps its case as well. It’s hard to pick against the Terrapins here.

Prediction: Maryland 34, Michigan State 30