We are two weeks in for both of these teams in their respective college football seasons, and for the #24 ranked Miami Hurricanes, it has not looked too great. Michigan State, on the other hand, has had convincing wins over Northwestern and Youngstown State.
After the Hurricanes were blown out in a loss to Alabama in Week 1 at Mercedes Benz Superdome, Miami, now 1-1 on the season, snuck out with a close victory against Appalachian State at home last weekend.
This week, the Hurricanes will play their second consecutive home game at Hard Rock Stadium when the Michigan State Spartans come for a huge visit.
Michigan State’s two wins on the season thus far have looked sharp, beating both Northwestern and Youngstown State by large margins.
This will be the first meeting between these two teams since 1989, and the Hurricanes have won each of the previous four matchups.
Miami is listed as a 6-point favorite heading into this noon matchup on Saturday from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Michigan State Keys to Success
For Michigan State offensively, it has been the Kenneth Walker show two games into the season. Thus far, Walker leads the Big Ten and is fourth nationwide with 321 rushing yards. He has also scored five times on the ground, which also leads the Big Ten, and is tied for second overall. If he is able to maintain his insane yards per carry that is over 10 yards, he will help keep this Miami defense in check and protect the passing game.
For their passing game so far this season, sophomore quarterback Payton Thorne has taken excellent care of the football for Michigan State’s offense. He has five touchdowns and has not given up the football yet with zero interceptions.
On defense, the key will be corralling D’Eriq King and making sure that they limit his big playability.
Miami Keys to Success
The Miami Offense is all about the success and athleticism of D’Eriq King, and thus far, he has not been as spectacular as he was just a year ago.
To be fair and just, he is coming off of a torn ACL that he suffered at the end of last season, so it’s a miracle that he’s even back playing, but through two games, King is completing 68.3 percent of his passes, but he only has thrown for 379 yards, a touchdown, with two ugly interceptions. Last year at this time, King had already tallied 469 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks.
The rushing game will also need to step up, but that was hurt by a season-ending injury to Don Chaney Jr. last week versus App State.
Defensively, they have been able to pressure the quarterback but have not been able to stop the run, which is not a good formula against Kenneth Walker. However, if they can force Thorne into situations he has not seen this year, they could be bringing out the beloved Turnover Chain.
While Miami has not looked strong to start the season, they have what it takes to be a top 15 team in the country; they just had a tough start to the season with powerhouse Alabama and a trap game against App State. I think they will have the ability to bounce back in this game, but it will be close.
Michigan State has big-play ability, and if they can continue to make those plays, that spells trouble for Miami.
I like Miami to just squeak by in this matchup and for Michigan State to cover the six-point spread.
Final Pick: Michigan State +6 (-110)
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