Matt Charboneau, Angelique S. Chengelis, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Saturday’s Michigan State at Rutgers game at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. (noon, FS1/760).
► Matt Charboneau: Having not won a game since the end of September it can seem like every game is one that will be tough not to lose, but the Spartans head to New Jersey the overwhelming favorite to beat the Scarlet Knights and end a five-game skid. They haven’t been great, but there’s enough there to believe Michigan State can get it done against one of the worst teams in the Power Five. The offensive performance two weeks ago against Illinois should be a good indicator as the Spartans finally walk off the field feeling good. Michigan State 34, Rutgers 7
► Angelique S. Chengelis: The Spartans' five-game slide will not extend to six. Not at Rutgers. This is not so much a knock on the Scarlet Knights, but Michigan State has to get well and this is as good a place to start as any. Rutgers is winless in the Big Ten, and MSU needs to win these next two to punch a ticket to a bowl game. It's not so much the Spartans need a trip at the end of the season but those bonus bowl practices are key for a jumpstart to next season. Michigan State 27, Rutgers 10
► John Niyo: As bad as Michigan State has looked during this losing skid, rest assured: Rutgers is much, much worse. Still, the Spartans need a fast start and can’t afford to let this end up a fourth-quarter game. Hard to imagine a scenario where they do, though. Michigan State 31, Rutgers 7
► Bob Wojnowski: The Spartans are limping with five straight losses and could really use the healing powers that Rutgers provides. The Scarlet Knights have lost 19 straight in the Big Ten and are historically bad, ranking near the bottom in the nation in scoring offense and defense. The Spartans can’t take anything for granted, not even Rutgers, which showed a little life scoring 21 against Ohio State. At 4-6, Michigan State isn’t bowl eligible yet, but it’ll shake off a Rutgers team that figures to play hard in its home finale. Michigan State 38, Rutgers 21