5 reasons Michigan State will beat Nebraska
Michigan State is rolling.
The Spartans cruised to a 38-17 win over Miami and jumped into the AP Top 25 this week. They’ve scored at least 38 points in all of their games en route to a 3-0 record — already topping last year’s win total.
Now, they’re getting ready for a home conference matchup with Nebraska.
DraftKings lists Michigan State as a 4-point favorite, but ESPN’s FPI gives the Spartans a 73.4% chance of victory. It’s sure to be one of the more interesting games on the B1G slate this week, especially since Nebraska stuck with Oklahoma in last week’s rivalry game.
The edge should go to Michigan State, though. The Spartans don’t look like they’re slowing down anytime soon, and Spartan Stadium should be rocking on Saturday, with a packed house expected.
Here are 5 reasons why the Spartans will beat the Cornhuskers in East Lansing.
1. Kenneth Walker III
Need we say anything more?
Walker burst onto the scene with his season-opening performance at Northwestern and hasn’t slowed down, leading the B1G with 164.3 rushing yards per game. The Wake Forest transfer has given Mel Tucker’s offense the jolt it desperately needed, and he’s a big reason why the Spartans jumped into the rankings this week.
He’ll have to be the focal point of Nebraska’s defensive game plan. If the Cornhuskers can stop KW3, they’ll have a good chance of pulling off the upset. But they’ll also have to contain the other key part of the offense.
2. Payton Thorne has found a groove
Remember when Tucker avoided naming a QB before the season? It sure looks like he made the right choice.
Thorne has played well for Michigan State this season and ranks 1st in the B1G with 9 passing touchdowns this season. He also was named B1G Co-Offensive Player of the Week after his performance against Miami in Week 3.
So not only can the Spartans get it done on the ground, but they also have a quarterback capable of getting it done in the air. It’s quite the change from last year when the offense appeared to stall on all fronts.
With Walker in the backfield and Thorne under center, Michigan State has a good opportunity to come away with a big home conference victory.
3. Michigan State has momentum
Look, it’s easy to say a team has momentum in college football. You could even argue Nebraska has some momentum after the way it played against Oklahoma last week. More on that later, though.
Michigan State has true momentum considering its rise into the AP Top 25 and that it has scored at least 38 points in all 3 of its games. The Spartans can take this momentum to a home crowd that will be striped out in primetime on Saturday.
Yeah. Nebraska’s going to have a tough time slowing Michigan State down. That’s not to say it can’t be done. It just won’t be easy.
4. Can Nebraska repeat its performance against Oklahoma?
Did you expect Nebraska to stay within 7 points of Oklahoma last week? Don’t worry if not. You wouldn’t be alone.
The Cornhuskers turned in by far their best performance of the year in their loss to then-No. 3 Oklahoma 23-17. But now the question is if they can do it again.
Nebraska has been a relatively inconsistent team under Scott Frost, but we’ll see if the Oklahoma game changes things. Tucker and Michigan State have to prepare for a repeat performance from Nebraska ahead of Saturday’s matchup.
It’s the B1G. Anything can happen.
5. Michigan State’s simply the better team
It’s no stretch to say Michigan State is just better than Nebraska.
The Spartans are in the Top 25 and the Cornhuskers aren’t. The Spartans are 3-0 and the Cornhuskers are 2-2. The Spartans have been consistent offensively and the Cornhuskers have been up-and-down.
With all that in mind, it makes total sense why Michigan State would be the pick here. Considering where both teams stand heading into Week 4, it’s not surprising to see the Spartans favored to win the game.
Kickoff between Michigan State and Nebraska is set for Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. on FS1.