Matt Charboneau, Angelique S. Chengelis, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Monday’s Michigan State vs. Oregon game in the Redbox Bowl (3 p.m., Fox/WJR 760).
Matt Charboneau: Michigan State has had more than a month to fix its offensive woes, and outside of WR Felton Davis, the Spartans should be as healthy on that side of the ball as they have been all season. But any significant turnaround in that time is probably asking too much, especially against an Oregon team that has won three of four. The defense will, once again, keep the Spartans in the game, but they’ll likely be on the field a lot and show signs of wear late in the game against an Oregon offense led by QB Justin Herbert, who is 15 passing yards shy of 3,000. Oregon, 21-13
Angelique S. Chengelis: Brian Lewerke is solidly the starter for the Redbox Bowl and running back LJ Scott is back, so maybe, just maybe, the Spartans will get some offense going against Oregon. The Spartans will miss cornerback Justin Layne and that might give Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert an opportunity to make plays that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. Still, if Lewerke is close to fully healthy, that won’t mean the Spartans’ offense is full-go, but it will be better than it has been. Michigan State, 20-14
John Niyo: There's a lot on the line for Michigan State's dueling quarterbacks. But Oregon's in much better shape at the most important position, and Justin Herbert's decision to bypass the NFL draft in 2019 no doubt gives the Ducks a lift. Whether or not Michigan State's offensive line can do enough of the heavy lifting to help the Spartans keep pace is another question. Oregon, 27-20
Bob Wojnowski: Michigan State has the defense to win, but hasn’t shown any evidence of offensive improvement. LJ Scott’s one-game return could make a difference in the run game. QB Brian Lewerke’s return could make a difference, although his ailing shoulder is an issue. No sense overthinking this. Motivation in these bowls is huge, and Oregon got a major boost with QB Justin Herbert announcing his return. He won’t carve up MSU’s defense, but he’ll make the biggest plays. Oregon, 24-13