The B1G versus the ACC comes to bowl season on December 27. The Michigan State Spartans take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Pinstripe Bowl at 3:20 pm. We’ll break down the matchup here.
Michigan State Spartans: 6-6 (4-5)
Mark Dantonio’s Spartans squad is hoping to cap off a disappointing season with a win. At 6-6 the Spartans run the risk of having a losing season for just the third time under the Dantonio era.
The Spartans started the season at No.18 in the preseason poll. A rough five game stretch saw a 4-1 season turn to 4-6 in no time. During that stretch they faced top 15 teams of the likes of Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan. Unable to turn any of those into a win has them sitting at 6-6.
Michigan State salvaged the postseason with wins against bottom feeders Rutgers and Maryland. Although their combined conference record is 1-17 and Michigan State struggled to fend off Maryland.
Dantonio’s offense has been the biggest crutch this season. The Spartan offense has been held to 10 or under five times this season. If the offense struggles once again to get things moving, they’ll be a long shot to find the victory.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons: 8-4 (4-4)
Wake Forest fought their way into the top 25 by their sixth game of the season. A loss to Louisville knocked them out of the rankings. They’d get back in the top 25 for a couple weeks after a Florida State win but after a loss to Virginia Tech would remain on the outside.
After a 7-1 start the Demon Deacons closed out the season at a 1-3 mark. Losses on the road proved to be the difference against Virginia Tech and Clemson. But it was the overtime loss at Syracuse that leaves a bad taste in their mouths as they enter the bowl season.
The Demon Deacons are hoping to be fully healthy for the bowl game. They had three big injuries in the season finale against Syracuse. Most importantly, quarterback Jamie Newman is hopeful to be healthy for the game.
The biggest question for Michigan State will be if they can get the offense going. The Spartans have been held to 10 or less points in five games this season. They are 0-5 in those games.
For Wake Forest it will be if they can get healthy during the off weeks. The Demon Deacons have played well with a fully healthy roster. In their four losses they’ve stayed competitive, minus the Clemson game. Wake Forest is two close losses from a 10-2 season.
Wake Forest has the ability to put up some serious points but Michigan State does have a respectable offense. This one may be a low scoring affair if the Spartan defense can stifle the Demon Deacons. If that can happen the Spartans stand a good chance to win.
Michigan State: 17, Wake Forest: 21
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