Matt Charboneau, Angelique S. Chengelis, Bob Wojnowski and John Niyo of The Detroit News predict the outcome of Saturday's Michigan State-Ohio State game.
Matt Charboneau: Michigan State will need Connor Cook to be at his best and the defense to build off last week’s solid showing in a victory over Maryland. Cook’s injured right shoulder could be in issue, however, and the Michigan State running game hasn’t been consistent yet this season, meaning the margin for error will be small. The Buckeyes have multiple weapons on offense and have the third-best total defense in the Big Ten. Combine that with playing at home, and the Buckeyes will have too much for the Spartans to overcome. Ohio State 38-24
Angelique S. Chengelis: If Michigan State QB Connor Cook’s right (throwing) shoulder is close to 100 percent, the Spartans will have a strong shot at the upset in Columbus. Cook is the only Big Ten quarterback to beat the Buckeyes (2013 Big Ten championship). Still, the Buckeyes are unbeaten in regular-season Big Ten games, are playing at home and have outstanding QB J.T. Barrett and RB Ezekiel Elliott. Ohio State 34-28
Bob Wojnowski: Do the Spartans have a shot? If Connor Cook is reasonably healthy, sure. But even if he is, Michigan State’s defense is completely vulnerable against J.T. Barrett, Ezekiel Elliott and an Ohio State offense just starting to rev up. Mark Dantonio can get his team ready for just about anything, but this is daunting. That said, if the Spartan receivers make a couple huge plays, the ol’ Horseshoe could tighten up in a hurry. Ohio State 34-23
John Niyo: Connor Cook says he’s ready, but we’ll see how that shoulder really feels when Joey Bosa & Co. come calling. The bigger problem, though, is limiting Ohio State’s big plays on offense. And to win a game like this on the road, it sure would help to have the special-teams edge. The Spartans don’t. Ohio State 34-24