September 5, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Detroit News predictions: Michigan State vs. Oregon

Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook is a big key to the Spartans putting themselves in the national championship discussion. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)

Matt Charboneau: Michigan State’s defense will be tested against the Oregon offense and will answer the challenge, at least for the most part, keeping the Spartans within striking distance. The offense almost certainly will move the ball and a truly balanced attack that is effective could be enough to pull out the victory. In the end, however, home-field advantage will be the tipping point. Oregon 31-30

Angelique S. Chengelis: Big fan of the old slogan “defense wins championships,” and I think defense will be the reason Michigan State prevails. The Spartans physical nature will get in the mind of Ducks QB Marcus Mariota. Then there’s the fact QB Connor Cook seems at ease leading the Spartans, and they have the experience of winning a big game on the West Coast (Rose Bowl). Michigan State 24-20

Bob Wojnowski: The Ducks don’t stumble often, but when they do, it’s usually against a physical team that controls the clock. Hmm. Sounds like the Spartans. But Connor Cook and his wide receivers must make big plays if Michigan State hopes to keep up with Marcus Mariota and all that speed. Oregon 31-20

John Niyo: Michigan State’s track record suggests Oregon won’t be able to turn this into a track meet. But with all those new starters, the Spartans figure to get burned one time too many. Oregon 31-27