August 28, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Detroit News predictions: Michigan State vs. Jacksonville State

Michigan State must replace six starters on defense, but linebacker Taiwan Jones does have 17 starts over the past two seasons. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)

Matt Charboneau: Jacksonville State is a talented team that is picked to win its conference and should contend for a national title in the FCS. A potent offense will put the Spartans defense to the test as six starters have been replaced. Michigan State’s offense should be good enough to get out of the opener with a win, but the game might be closer than the score suggests. Michigan State 34-17

Angelique S. Chengelis: Could this be a trip-up game for Michigan State? Sure. But it won’t be. The Spartans defense has lost some key starters, but there’s still plenty to like, starting with Shilique Calhoun. Perhaps more important is the fact Michigan State has a more seasoned quarterback in Connor Cook. Michigan State 28-6

Bob Wojnowski: Jacksonville State is one of those speedy small-school teams that can put a fright in the big boys. But even replacing six defensive starters, Michigan State has the strength and the scheme to handle just about any pesky offense. Michigan State 40-10

John Niyo: With several new starters, a few defensive breakdowns wouldn’t be a surprise against a productive FCS offense. But the Spartans better not look anything like they did offensively a year ago in their opener. Michigan State 38-17