Detroit News predictions: Michigan State vs. Maryland

The Detroit News

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 vs. Maryland game at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing (3:30 p.m., FS1/760).

Kenny Willekes

► Matt Charboneau: Before the season, the Spartans didn’t expect to need a victory in the final game of the season just to reach a bowl game, but here they are. It’s probably a good thing it’s the Terrapins coming to town considering how teams have been beating up on the Terps. Maryland ranks among the worst teams in the nation in both total offense and total defense, something that provides the perfect formula for a Spartans offense that has struggled all season, and a defense that still plays the run well but has allowed too many big plays. It’s not for a championship, but this is still a big game for MSU, and having it at home means the Spartans will likely punch their ticket for a bowl. Michigan State 30, Maryland 7

► Angelique S. Chengelis: The Spartans are playing for a bowl, and that’s still a strong motivator, even it it’s not a pre premier destination. Michigan State will get its second straight victory to finish the season, this time against Maryland, which is 1-7 in the Big Ten. This will be the final game for the MSU seniors, including quarterback Brian Lewerke, who this week said that while the program expects more than what was delivered this season, getting to a bowl and adding those valuable practices will be a boost for the younger players and next season. Michigan State 24, Maryland 7

► John Niyo: This isn’t the way Michigan State’s senior class wanted to go out. But making a bowl is still a goal and Maryland is still a pretty awful team. So if Michigan State’s young offensive line can limit the mistakes and Brian Lewerke doesn’t try to do too much in his final home game, this should look a lot like last week’s game at Rutgers. Michigan State 27, Maryland 14

► Bob Wojnowski: Mark Dantonio has one bowl-less season in 13 years, and at 5-6, the Spartans are staring at another. They're also staring at a decimated Maryland offense and a horrible Maryland defense, so they should have enough to get the win and the bid. Lots of seniors will be playing their home finale, and even in an ugly year, that can matter. Defensive leaders Kenny Willekes and Raequan Williams will crank it up, and QB Brian Lewerke will keep firing to Cody White. The Terps are streaky, but this shouldn't be close. Michigan State 37, Maryland 13