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2017 Weekly Picks
Week 4
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Joe-S-U Hylton

2017 Predictions
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* Buckeye 50 Picks Champion
Last Week: It was so great to so two teams show respect for own another as we saw when Army invaded Ohio Stadium. The teams shook hands before the game, and displayed sportsmanship when each team addressed their fans after the game. The victory will hopefully get the Buckeyes back on track for a championship season even though it did not help them much in hte polls. JT Barrett played much better, hopefully that will get some of the doubters off his back. From our Picks Leaderboard, Cory had his second straight 4-1 week to stay on top, but just one game ahead of Brent, Jason, John and Rick. And there is still a nice sized log jam for the top ten places so watch for some shifting every week.
This Week: Ohio State should have no problem taking care of business this week as the Running Rebels come to Columbus.  
Guest Buckeye: As with every week, we are proud and pleased to have Vaughn Broadnax providing his feedback and predictions for this week's games. 
Here are our Week 4 Picks, Good Luck to all - Gregg
 UNLV  @  (9)Ohio State
(Favorite: Ohio State  - 39 1/2)

Bbaver: The Pick: Ohio State - Bucks can name their score in this one...only real question is: Do we see a backup QB in the first half? I'd like to see it. Would also like to see a healthy Mike Weber, but if he's still not healthy, no need putting him in just for a few carries. The call: Ohio State 52 UNLV 10  


Cory:  This will be yet another game in which we probably won't learn too much about Ohio State. UNLV is not a good team. The Rebels won last week over a weak Idaho team, but it's the week one loss to Howard for which UNLV is known. It is considered the biggest upset of an FCS school, ever. The main player that could give OSU trouble is running back Lexington Thomas. Thomas is averaging 9.0 yards a carry and already has five touchdowns. The problem for UNLV is that Thomas is basically their entire offense: stop him and the Buckeyes will be in a very good position to win. From OSU we should expect to see a lot of short passes early to try to get J.T. Barrett in a good rhythm, which is exactly what the Buckeyes did last week against Army. Aside from a few bad throws J.T. was much better last week so let's see if can continue to build on that success. Aside from Barrett, a heavy dose of running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber should be enough to help the Buckeyes to an easy win over UNLV.   Ohio State 42, UNLV 14  


Dave:  Ohio State 63   UNLV 14


Gregg:  The weather is going to be hot for this one, hopefully the Buckeye offense will be equally hot. The Running Rebel defense may be what OSU needs that this time. The Buckeyes should have no problems getting their run game going, the only question will be if they try to bring Mike Weber back this early or will they save him for the Big Ten season. The real test will be if Ohio State can get the passing attack to look more like a championship caliber approach. They made some strides last week, but 15 of JT's 25 completions were behind the line of scrimmage, they need to be able to connect down field more. I thing Kevin Wilson will focus on passing plays and try to get Barrett into a rhythm that he enjoyed in 2014. I expect to see a lot of the bench in the second half.  Ohio State 60  UNLV 10


Jason:  The final non-conference game for Ohio State on Saturday as the Rebels of UNLV come to town. They will get $1.3 million to make the trip and they will earn every penny. UNLV’s recipe for success has been their run game which ranks 4thnationally, averaging just under 251 yards per contest and to be successful they must be able to move the chains on the ground. That won’t be an easy task against the front of Ohio State who limited the run heavy Army team to nearly 160 yards below their average despite a 99 yard TD drive. UNLV can throw it a bit behind quarterback Armani Rogers, who has completed 60 percent of his passes for 413 yards through two games so the secondary of Ohio State will need to be ready. Ohio State is a near 40 point favorite so the Rebs hope to flip the script after they lost to Howard to open the season as a near 40 point favorite but don’t look for anything near that here. I expect the Buckeyes to be able to do what they want offensively and expect Urban Meyer to change the way the offense operates a touch, utilizing more of the power run game and the read option which is J.T. Barrett’s forte. When they do throw, I expect to see more run/pass option to spread out the defense and force a spy on JT which will open up the mid-range passing game and try to get the Buckeye playmakers like Parris Campbell in space. Buckeyes big in this one.   Ohio State 55 UNLV 7  


Joe-S-U:  OSU over UNLV - Spent last week in Vegas scouting this game for the coaching staff. Turned in my report and hit the buffet. Bucks are still at 4 to 1 to win the national title despite the Oklahoma debacle. 2017 definitely has a 2014 feel to it. The wait between Va. Tech and Mich. St. was interminable to get another chance to make a national statement, which they did. Long time 'til Penn State rolls in Halloween weekend so take care of business and enjoy the Tribe's playoff run 'til then.  


John:  No chance that UNLV is able to run the ball. Passing is another matter. Look for the Rebel’s to be able to move the ball via the air, especially early. Buckeyes depth too much for UNLV to overcome. In the end, OSU rolls.  Ohio State 48, UNLV 17  


Josh:  Ohio State did what it needed to do against an inferior Army team last week. Not to take anything away from Army, which was a great game experience in terms of the pageantry Ohio State displayed for this game with the parachutes and each team waiting to sing each other fight song, it felt like a little bit how college football should be. Not to go on a tangent, so focusing now on this week. I think at this point, injury or not with Weber, JK Dobbins is our starter. As Urban had said, he is a complete back. I think he is in that category with Zeke and Clarett in terms of his potential and capabilities. Now, I think Weber will still get the carries as we should have a nice 1-2 punch at RB, to take the running pressure off JT Barrett. UNLV opened the season with a loss to Howard, so this game should be a good tune up opportunity for Ohio State, and playing against a more traditional offense and will be a good step up before we resume Big 10 play. Barrett should be able to have a solid day passing against this defense, and hope to see the back ups in before the 4th quarter. Defense should hold strong and the Rebels give our secondary more practice, and hopefully confidence as we start the second quarter of the regular season.   Ohio State 42 - UNLV 3  
​ 

Dr. Mark:  I believe this is the game to open it up. The offense needs to put some new stuff out there for other teams to worry about as the Big 10 Schedule really begins.   Bucks 49-14  


PJSBuck:  Well. What to think about this team and the coaches?? For most, after three games there is this massive cloud of questions on just about every aspect of our team. This game SHOULD represent less of a challenge than Army but given the current atmosphere I don't know what to expect. For whatever reasons, JT looks tentative and not playing with much confidence. Yes, people point to his records and we all admire him for that but he did a large part of that NOT in the last 12 months. I don't know what the fix is for that - or even if it CAN be fixed at this point in his career. The entire team looks tentative and not playing with intensity and abandon. For those at the game, everyone told me that they felt there was a new energy on offense when Haskins was in. Yes, it was late in the game and that is not much of a predictor, but interesting nonetheless. I think Ohio State certainly wins but I think the inconsistencies will remain until JT no longer starts. Sorry, just my opinion and observation. I think this game will likely be more of a mental challenge (thanks Mark!) than physical. Also, thanks to Oklahoma, the Sooners gave all of our opponents the blueprints for playing us too tough for the rest of this year.  Ohio State 41 UNLV 28 in yet another game where the middle of our secondary is open all day???....... 


Pia Pete:  Bucks roll over UNLV.   OSU 48 – UNLV 10


Coach Rick:  One bonus UNLV has is they are coming off an early bye week. They are averaging 42 points a game but have not played a quality team yet. What helps Ohio State in this game is they are facing their 2nd rushing dominate team, which the defense look good against the rush last week. I thin UNLV will get a few points catching us sleeping with some long receptions, but not enough the will make the game close.  I have OSU by 28 points.  


Steven:  Not since Florida A&M left the 'Shoe have we seen an opponent this bad. This is a team that lost to Howard University. I figure if we don't see a full half of Dwayne Haskins, the first teamers haven't done their job. This is one where your friends offer you a ticket to the game and you wonder, "HMMM, shouldn't I be mowing the grass?" Not sure if we'll hang a Rice-like 72-0 score on them, but we should... and probably won't.    OSU 63-3 


Trout:   UNLV is a bad team. Even with the inconsistencies plaguing the Buckeye offense, they should have no problem moving the ball on the Rebels. I see Dobbins having a record day for himself and racking up 200+ yards. Plus I think JT takes a step forward in his passing game, and has one of his better days in the air. The Rebels do have a decent offensive attack, but I think the Buckeye defense is more than capable of containing it. They may score some points, but not enough to keep up with Ohio State.   Ohio State, 49-7  


Vaughn:  We finally get to see some highly anticipated backups play substantively as the Buckeyes run away from the Runnin’ Rebels 48-3  
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​Final Score:  Ohio State 54   UNLV 21
                          (3-1)             (1-2)
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Brent Baver ***
John Siebert *
Cory Steger
Rick DeSutter ***
Jason Harris
Josh Watson
Pete Quint *
Gregg Watson **
Vaughn Broadnax
Joe Hylton *
Mark Triffon
Dave Culver *
Pat Steger
Steven Smith
Stefan Armintrout

Buckeye 50 Staff
ESPN GameDay
 (15)TCU  @  (7)Oklahoma State
(Favorite: Oklahoma State  - 13 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Oklahoma State - Can anyone stop Ok State's offense? I'll have to see it to believe it.  


Cory:  Following their win over Ohio State in Week 2, everybody is talking about the Oklahoma Sooners. People will soon be talking a lot about their in-state rivals, the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Oklahoma State faces a tough test against TCU this weekend, but the edge goes to the Cowboys as they have one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Mason Rudolph. In three games Rudolph is completing 72.3 percent of his passes for 1,135 yards with 11 touchdowns and just one interception. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill is having a pretty good season of his own with eight touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 75 percent of his passes. TCU won't go away easy, but it will be hard for the Horned Frogs to keep up with the Cowboys.   Oklahoma State 45, TCU 35  


Dave:   Oklahoma State 32   TCU 17


Gregg:  TCU is still unproven but I still can't get over they were 4-8 last year. They are 3-0 but without an impressive win. The Cowboys on the other hand seem to be playing at high level, at least on offense. At home, and behind their Heisman candidate quarterback Mason Rudoolph, I give the edge to Oklahoma State.   Oklahoma State 42  TCU 35    


Jason:  The first legit challenge for Oklahoma State this season comes to Stillwater as the Horned Frogs of TCU and Gary Patterson come calling. Easy wins over Tulsa, South Alabama and Pitt have folks excited that the Pokes can knock off Oklahoma as the kings of the Big 12. The first opportunity to truly prove it comes this weekend. Mason Rudolph has become a legit Heisman candidate after throwing for nearly 500 yards and 5 TD’s in the Cowboy beat down at Pitt a week ago. TCU has a pretty high level QB of their own in Kenny Hill. Hill has thrown for over 700 yards to go with 8 TD’s and 2 picks in just 2 games. TCU also plays a little defense, utilizing a rather dominating D line to attack and put pressure on opposition signal callers so Rudolph better be ready. TCU will have to keep up the scoring pace of OSU and I don’t think they will. It won’t be as easy for the Cowboys as the first 3 have been but they won’t be overly challenged either.   Okie State 31 TCU 17  


Joe-S-U:  OK St. over TCU - Cowboy starters will probably have to play a second half for the first time this year, but Rudolph has guided this sleigh into the Top 10 with a mess of points. Both teams have solid road wins over Power 5 opponents, but OK State has more weapons. Over/under is 71, these teams are averaging 103 between them.  


John:  Mason Rudolf may be the best QB in college football (yes I know Lamar Jackson is still at Louisville). The other OSU also rolls.  Oklahoma St 38 TCU 17

   
Josh:  A potential true Big 12 game with a lot of scoring. I was impressed with what Oklahoma State was able to do against Pitt last week, and if I was a Heisman voter, my first quarter of the season vote would be for Rudolph. He is putting up big numbers for just playing one half of college football. I think this will be one where he might have to play the whole game. Kenny "Thrill" should put TCU in a good position throughout the game, the key will be if he can limit his turnovers. I think this will be an ol' fashioned shootout, ya'll. Cowboys win at home.   Oklahoma State 56 - TCU 42  


Dr. Mark:  OK St- 44-30 - Cowboys have strong scoring ability and are emotionally pumped up this year – Sooners are good and Texas is getting better so the Cowboys need to win now to stay in playoff contention from the Big 12.  


PJSBuck:  This is going to be a REALLY fun game to watch. Okie state is tough - tougher than most of the country thinks.  Oklahoma State by 28 or more.


Pia Pete OSU 28 – TCU 21  


Coach Rick:  TCU @ Oklahoma State - TCU's defense has not been tested so far this season. On the other hand Oklahoma State has not found a defense to stop their powerful offense. There is another pattern here as well in that TCU have allowed more points each week and I do not see it stopping with this weeks match up.  I have Oklahoma State winning 42 to 17.  


Steven:  If you haven't been watching the other OSU and their QB Mason Rudolph, you've been missing out. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. Okie State is putting up over 600 yards per game and Rudolph is accounting for 62% of them. TCU have some firepower as well and are scoring 49 points per game. On the road, I doubt they can keep up with the Cowboys, though. Defensive Coordinators need not apply.   OSU 49-24 


Trout:  This one will be a barn burner. Both teams can score a lot of points quickly. However, I think the Cowboys have the advantage over the Horned Frogs. It all starts with their quarterback. We are 3 games in to the season and Mason Rudolph of OK State has already passed for over 1100 yards. Just looking at the teams, I think the Cowboys are more dynamic on offense. It will be close though. A lot of points are going to be score on both sides, but with OK State's better offense, I think they will have enough to pull out the victory.  Oklahoma State 56-42  


Vaughn:  While I have absolutely no confidence in Big 12 defenses, unless they’re playing the Buckeyes, the Cowboys jump all over the Horned Frogs 49-35.  


GameDay:  Desmond Howard, Lee Corso and guest picker Keegan-Michael Key favor Oklahoma State. Kirk Herbtreit believes the Horned Frogs will win.
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​Final Score:  TCU 44   Oklahoma State 31
            (4-0)               (3-1)
 (19)Mississippi State  @  (12)Georgia
(Favorite: Georgia - 4 1/2)

Bbaver:  The Pick: Georgia - Mississippi State fresh of a big win....can they do it two weeks in a row? My guess is not.   


Cory:  It's not always easy to get excited about SEC football, but the game between Mississippi State and Georgia should be a good one. Both teams have only had one real game so far: Mississippi State easily beat LSU last week, while Georgia held off Notre Dam for a one-point win two weeks ago. Georgia is at home and features one of the best running backs in the nation in Nick Chubb, however, Mississippi State will come away with a big road win this week. Georgia has had some injury issues at quarterback, leading to true freshman Jake Fromm starting. Also, Chubb may not be fully healthy as he's got just 44 carries in the first three games so far. Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is a dynamic playmaker, as evidenced by his four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) last week against LSU.   Mississippi State 24, Georgia 17  


Dave:  Georgia 32  Mississippi State 14


Gregg:  It is never easy for teams to come into Athens and play between the hedges. Mississippi State looked great last week and their quarterback Nick Fitzgerald boosted his Heisman campaign, but I am not sure LSU is a premiere team this year so by the end of the season we will see if it was a quality win. On the other sideline, it is Georgia's time to shine, if not now, when. More pressure is on the Bulldogs in red so i think they will win a close one and remain unbeaten. By the end of the day, there may only be 2 unbeaten teams in the SEC and we are still in September.   Uga 27   Bully 24 


Jason:  The Bulldogs are coming off a 37-7 domination of LSU. Some thought they were good, but still didn’t see that one coming. Now the SEC has taken notice and Mississippi State is out to prove they are a real threat to Alabama for SEC glory. Georgia is coming off a strong and emotional win over Notre Dame two weeks ago before blowing out Samford last week and is also coming in with some momentum. The Georgia defensive line is strong and will give the Dawgs fits when they try to run the football and should be able to be able to put enough pressure on Nick Fitzgerald to make him a little uncomfortable. Mississippi State has a stout offensive line and have allowed just one sack while Fitz has been able to operate and keep the offense chugging along. Georgia has a young quarterback and in these types of games, veteran signal callers can make all the difference.

Fitzgerald will be tested more than he has so far this season, but Georgia doesn’t have nearly enough to keep up and despite it being a 4 quarter game, Mississippi State will pull away late and leave Athens feeling very good about themselves.   MSU 38 Georgia 20  


Joe-S-U:  Miss. St. over Ga.- LSU is either very overrated (OK, they usually are) or Georgia is gonna have a problem on its hands. Bulldogs bag one between the hedges.  


John:  This might be the year the Dawgs finally get over the hump.  Georgia 28 Mississippi State 21  


Josh:  Mississippi State has been impressive offensively, and I was wrong on my pick for them last week. Georgia has a freshman qb who might still have some momentum after a big win against Notre Dame. I think this one will be tough to call because both teams have ways to win, but I am going to give the nod to the Bulldogs in this one after disrespecting them last week. Mississippi State wins with an air raid offense and controls the ball away from Chubb.   Mississippi State 35 - Georgia 21  
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Dr. Mark:  Georgia 28-20  This is a tough call- not sure how consistent either team is but I think it will be a ball control / turnover type of game  


PJSBuck:  Not an SEC fan.  I think Georgia wins by 3 


Pia Pete:  Ugga 24 – MSU 20  


Coach Rick:   I think that this is going to be a great game to watch. I do not think that Mississippi State will have it in them to win against two good teams in a row, so I have Georgia on top 28 - 24.  


Steven:  Does Georgia just seem to be a bit of a mirage this year? Other than squeaking out a win in South Bend, their other two games were against Appalachian State and Samford. Certainly Mississippi State's non-conference games against Charleston Southern and Louisiana Tech don't look much better. MSU's smack down of SEC rival LSU does look nice in the beginning of the season, but no one knows whether that's a good win or not, yet. With two fairly even teams I'd be tempted to go with the home team, but something about that LSU win makes me think the MSU mirage is just slightly better than the Georgia mirage.    MSU 24-22 


Trout:   I think Mississippi State wins this game.I don't think either team will have much impact o n the play off conversation this year, but looking at the previous 3 weeks, I see that the Georgia Bulldogs have struggled a lot more than the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The didn't necessarily set the world on fire against App State, and they barely got past a so-so Notre Dame team. Having said that, I think the game will be close. A lot of SEC matches end up be defensive struggles. And I think that will be the case in this game. it will be low scoring with both teams less than 20 points. However, in the end, the Mississippi State Bull Dogs outscore Georgia and win the game.   (Mississippi State, 17-14)  


Vaughn:  The Mississippi State Bulldogs have surprised me all year. I am buying. MSU goes in between the hedges and wins the dog fight over Georgia 30-24.  


GameDay:  xxxxx
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​Final Score:  Mississippi State xx   Georgia xx
                               (3-0)                 (3-0)
 (x)Penn State  @  (x)Iowa
(Favorite: Penn State  - 12 1/2)

​Bbaver:  The Pick: Penn State - This one could be interesting. If you are Ohio State, do you root for PSU to come into the 'Shoe undefeated or are you worried about winning the Big Ten east, where as a loss by PSU helps your chances of winning the division?  


Cory:   Somehow, Iowa is 3-0 and not even ranked in the top 25 in any poll. The Hawkeyes have had a pretty easy schedule so far, but it sort of feels like they're being overlooked right now. That said, they face an incredibly tough task this week when No. 4 Penn State comes to town. We know how good Penn State can be behind quarterback Trace McSorley and running back Saquon Barkley, but let's not overlook Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley. Stanley is completing 61.4 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and just one interception. As much as I would like to pick the Hawkeyes here, I am going with Penn State. The Iowa defense has not been as stout as you would like to see, with the Hawkeyes giving up 41 points to a weak Iowa State team two weeks ago. Ultimately McSorley and Barkley will be too much for the Hawkeyes to handle.   Penn State 28, Iowa 20  


Dave:  Iowa 24    Penn State 21


Gregg:  xxxxx  


Jason:  Penn State is off to a 3-0 start, but has yet to play a legitimate opponent. A week ago against Georgia State, the Nits scored 5 touchdowns on just 27 plays, including an 85 RAC from Trace McSorley to Saquon Barkley.. Speaking of McSorley, he went 18 of 23 for 309 yards and four touchdowns, while Barkley had 189 all purpose yards on just 14 touches. However Iowa is not Georgia State. Iowa struggled early with North Texas, but pulled away in the second half quarterback Nate Stanley who threw for 197 yards and two touchdowns and a balanced rushing attack in which three Hawkeyes ruan for over 70 yards. The Hawks have had a little more challenging schedule to this point and play this game in the friendly confines in Iowa City, but Penn State just has a little too much firepower and athleticism and leaves Iowa unbeaten.   Penn State 31 Iowa 17  

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Joe-S-U:  Penn State over Iowa - The Hawkeyes are gonna pick someone off....hopefully it's not us on Nov. 5th. Lions are on a nice roll right now and selfishly we need them to keep winning to make their visit here matter  
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John:  Penn St just has too much firepower, especially on the ground, for Iowa to overcome.    Penn State 28 Iowa 10  


Josh:  Smile and Wave. at least that is what will happen during the first quarter of this game, which I think is a cool tradition, but that could be the sentimental father in me. I think this is Penn State's toughest challenge and you know Iowa fans will be in full force for this game. I like the running back match up we will have between Barkley and Wadley, but I think the Penn state offense will be too much for the Hawkeye defense, and will win a close battle.   Penn state 24 - Iowa 21  


Dr. Mark:  Penn State 31-27 – I hope I’m wrong about this-- I’m pulling for Iowa- James Franklin- although a successful Coach, seems to be turning into a jerk- Buckeyes need PSU and Michigan to run table and then lose to Buckeyes to make the championships.


PJSBuck:  This could be a tight game. I hope the Hawkeyes win - mostly because I think James Franklin is a pompous ass and his team is taking on that personality. Penn State likely to win by I say Hawkeyes by 6 in OT 


Pia Pete:  Penn State shows that Iowa is still a pretender.   PSU 34 – Iowa 13  


Coach Rick:  Before the season started I would have stated that this would have been a better game then it will be. Iowa just has not impressed me and Penn State is playing great.  I have Penn State winning 45 to 21.  


Steven:   Iowa would surprise everyone if they could pull of an upset here. They are usually good for one unexpected upset game per year. This is not it, (figure on a good showing in Evanston on October 21, though). Iowa better ratchet up the defensive line or they're going to get scored on early and often. Nittany Lion QB Trace McSorley has only been sacked once this season, completing 67% of his passes and has a 184 QBR. He well could be Offensive POY in the league. Add the solid rushing attack of Saquon Barkley who is rushing at just a paltry 102 yards per game and you come up with what should be a PSU win.    PSU 38-21


Trout:  James Franklin has his team believing they can win it all , and I don't think an average Hawkeyes team will be able to stop them. Iowa has had some good years, and can play tough in some games, but under Kirk Ferentz, they have always under performed. I see Saquon Barkley running up and down the field with ease. The Hawkeyes might be able to keep it close in the early parts of the game, but in the end, the Nittany Lions win with little resistance.   (Penn State, 38- 10) 


Vaughn:  Since I want Penn State to be undefeated for their arrival in Columbus I cannot pick against them. Penn State defeats Iowa 35-17.  


GameDay:  xxxxx
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​Final Score:  Penn State xx   Iowa xx
                          (3-0)              (3-0)
 Notre Dame  @  Michigan State
(Favorite: xxxxx  - ?? 1/2)

Bbaver: The Pick: Notre Dame - May be close, but Notre Dame has far more talent, especially after several key Sparty players were booted in the off-season.:   


Cory:  For some reason the game between Notre Dame and Michigan State each year tends to be a good one. Between the close games, the comeback wins, and trick plays, these two teams tend to produce a lot of fun moments. Let's hope that continues this week because neither team appears to be all that good right now. Notre Dame's only loss was a close one to Georgia, whereas Michigan State has had two weeks to prepare for this game following a pair of wins over MAC opponents at the start of the season. The biggest problem with Notre Dame is that the offense is very one-dimensional. While quarterback Brandon Wimbush is a dynamic athlete, he's not a very good passer as evidenced by his 50 percent completion rate. Given that Michigan State is more well-rounded, along with the fact that they've had two weeks to prepare for this game, and I'll give a slight edge to the Spartans.   Michigan State 24, Notre Dame 20  


Dave:  Notre Dame 28 - Michigan State 20


Gregg: xxxxx  


Jason:  Michigan State has yet to be really challenged as coach Mark Dantonio and his Spartans try to bounce back from a disastrous 3-9 year in 2016. The Irish are coming off a week where they blasted Boston College on the ground to the tune of 515 yards but they are facing a Spartan D that has been stout against the run albeit against two MAC foes. Look for the Mean Green D of MSU to try to stack the box and contain the run game and force quarterback Brandon Wimbush to prove he can beat them with the air attack where he struggled a week ago going 11 of 24 with a pick. If Michigan State can force the Irish to be one dimensional they will be able to create field position and allow the dual threat ability of quarterback Brian Lewerke to go to work. While Michigan State is not quite back yet, neither is Notre Dame and this game looks like a toss-up. In those cases, I lean home team. Spartans by a field goal.   Sparty 24  Irish 21 


Joe-S-U:  Notre Dame over Michigan State - Domers aren't ready to set the world on fire just yet, but they're not a doormat either. It's early but they're more battle tested so far. Sparty can definitively put last year behind them with a win, less definitively with a hard-fought loss, but Irish should prevail  


John:  Sparty will have to show me they’ve put the debacle that was last year behind them. Until they do, I can’t see picking them. Even when the opponent is the somewhat tarnished Golden Domer’s.   Notre Dame 20, Michigan St 7  


Josh:  I really know how to evaluate either team in this one. I think the days are numbered with Brian Kelly, and Michigan State is trying to show last season was an albatross. The Big Ten homer in me is rooting for the Spartans and any time Notre Dame loses is a good one. I see this one being a low scoring affair, but LJ Scott scores the final touchdown with seconds left in the game.  Michigan state 17 - Notre Dame 14   


Dr. Mark:  Spartans 31-30  I think the Spartans peaked a couple of years ago- but I’ll give their D a chance to shut down the ND dual threat QB.  


PJSBuck:  Despite their respective mediocrity I think this will be a fun game to watch.  I like Sparty by 10 


Pia Pete I’m pulling for the Big Ten as always.   Sparty 17 – Domers 14 


Coach Rick:  This game is a coin flip in my books. Because Michigan State is coming off a bye week,  I have them winning 24 - 17.


Steven:  Can Dino bring MSU back from a disastrous 2016 season? A win over a surprisingly respectable Notre Dame team would be a huge step in reestablishing a program that was in disarray last year. Coach D certainly has them looking like a more cohesive unit. Sparty like to pull out all the stops for the Domers, so if the game gets close in the second half, you can almost guarantee at least one fake kick from the men in green (hopefully leading to an ignominious defeat for the Irish). It couldn't happen to anyone better than Brian Kelly. Dino posts his 4th win of the year.   MSU 28-24


Trout:  This is a big test for Sparty. Although I don't think Notre Dame is that good, they are still a team that garners a lot of clout in the college football landscape. And with Sparty's disappointing year last season, they will have something to prove. With that desire to prove themselves, I see the Michigan State Spartans pulling off the upset. It will be a close, hard fought game, but Dantonio will have put his team in the right position to pull off the victory in front of their home crowd. Sparty wins it in a close, low scoring game.   (Michigan State, 21-20)  


Vaughn:  Notre Dame is on a downward spiral, but Michigan State’s internal tumult is clearly affecting their team. I am going to go with the Irish over the Spartans 20-17.  


GameDay:  xxxxx
​ 


​Final Score:  Michigan State xx   Notre Dame xx
                         (2-0)                      (2-1)
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