College Football Picks: Ohio State Keeps Streak Alive But Won't Cover

David Lawrence

Monday, November 16, 2015 1:38 PM GMT

The Spartans-Buckeyes matchup is one we’ve had circled all season long. Can Ohio State stay perfect or will Sparty finally end the nation’s longest winning streak? Check the college football pick here.

Momentum
The Michigan State offense didn’t do much on a day when starting quarterback Connor Cook got injured, but the defense was able to register five interceptions of Maryland quarterbacks in a relatively easy win over the Terrapins. The big concern for Michigan State is that after playing Maryland and its relatively less talented players, the gap in evidence with Ohio State could be hard to adjust to. The Buckeyes are so much more talented than Maryland that Michigan State might get caught off guard by the speed and strength of Ohio State at just about every position on the field.

Ohio State easily beat Illinois, but it’s not as though the offense is hitting on all cylinders. The Buckeyes couldn’t even score 30 points against an average defense. Quarterback J.T. Barrett played well in late October, but he has not been the same quarterback throughout the season. He has not played at the same high level the whole way. He has not been the player who starred for Ohio State last season. The 2014 game against Michigan State was a shootout. Few expect Ohio State and Michigan State to play that same kind of game this time. The defense for Ohio State held Illinois to only three points, but the offense remains a concern.

 

Line Moves
The line started with Ohio State as a 13.5-point favorite, and those college football odds has remained in place. Bettors are probably distrusting Michigan State more than they’re trusting Ohio State. Michigan State lost to a Nebraska team which might finish this season with a losing record. The Spartans have not played that well, and going into Ohio State’s stadium, which could be a rough day if Michigan State is not on its game – this could get really ugly for the Spartans.

 

Notable Injuries
Michigan State suspended defensive end Montez Sweat. Defensive back Mark Meyers is also suspended. Starting quarterback Connor Cook is probable with a shoulder injury. Defensive lineman Joel Heath is questionable with a leg injury. Defensive back R.J. Williamson is out indefinitely with a bicep injury. Offensive lineman Dennis Finley is out for the season due to a fibula injury. Defensive back Jalen Watts-Jackson is out for the season with a hip injury. Cornerback Vayante Copeland is out for the season with a neck injury.

Ohio State has defensive back Cam Burrows out for the season with a foot injury. Defensive back Marshon Lattimore is questionable with a hamstring injury. Wide receiver Corey Smith is out for the season with a leg injury. Linebacker Nick Conner is out for the season with a knee injury. Linebacker Chris Worley is questionable with an undisclosed condition. Wide receiver Johnny Dixon is out indefinitely with a knee injury. Safety Erick Smith is out for the season with a knee injury.  

 

Handicapping The Game
The Michigan State Spartans remember last year, when the Ohio State Buckeyes marched into East Lansing and dealt Mark Dantonio’s team a devastating defeat. The Spartans have waited 12 whole months for this rematch. They want to not only spoil Ohio State’s season but make their own way into the Big Ten Championship Game and have a chance to be in the College Football Playoff. The desire is there and the motivation is real, but now Michigan State has to play well enough and smart enough to win. That won’t be easy, partly because of the injury situation which will be detailed below in the injury report, and partly because of the quality of the opponent the Spartans are about to face. Ohio State has won 30 straight regular season Big Ten games, the longest streak in college football. Michigan State will be hard-pressed to stop that run. It will take a great game from the Spartans to get the job done, and Ohio State will have to make mistakes.

Michigan State is not playing well, but Ohio State’s offense is not ready to go wild against the Spartans the way it did last season. Ohio State will win, but only by a touchdown or 10 points. Take Michigan State with your college football picks.

College Football Pick: Michigan State +13 at Heritage

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