Wisconsin, minus two games (or more specifically, two plays), has looked as unstoppable as anyone in the B1G. Russell Wilson has been the best QB in the conference the whole season. And Montee Ball might be the best RB no one is talking about. His mind boggling 34 TDs on the year are only 2nd all-time for a single season. Combined, Wilson, Ball, and James White have 2630 yards rushing with 40 TDs. As a team, they are 4th in the nation in points per game and are easily the best offense in the B1G and one of the best in the nation. Defensively is where they are lacking, especially at last-minute hail mary passes.
For Michigan State, a far more balanced team attack has led them to the title game. Their defense is 6th in the nation in points and 3rd in yards/game. Jerel Worthy's stock has flown up higher and higher each week as he spear-heads the defensive line. He himself has 3.5 sacks and 7 tackles for loss. Offensively, Kirk Cousins has been right behind Russell Wilson for most the season. Cousins is 3rd in the conference with 227 yards/game and 3rd in efficiency. While Edwin Baker has been a bit of a disappointment, B.J. Cunningham has helped make up for it through the air. He has 67 receptions for 1125 yards and averages just under 100 yards/game.
The game itself couldn't have been a more hyped game. We all know what happened in East Lansing just a month ago.
Since then, everyone has hoped for the rematch. Wisconsin fans have been salivating at the thought of a chance to prove they are better than MSU. They've destroyed their last four opponents by a score of 177-54, or an average of 44 points a game.
The Sparties have been waiting to show they are better than a hail mary pass to end the game. Following a let-down loss to Nebraska, they themselves have put on a display to round out the season, winning their last four by a score of 154-65.
Basically, this game has all the headlines, players, and reasons to become a great game. Both teams are clicking on all cylinders coming into this game. They each have motivation for this game, being known not only as the inaugural B1G title game winner, but to prove to their fans and doubters they are a legit team.
With a Rose Bowl bid on the line, let's breakdown the match ups a little more.
Back in October, defense was clearly optional as both teams racked up the yardage. Wisconsin finished with 443 yards while Michigan State had 399. It did, however, take a furious rally by Wisky to get back into the game. Wisky went down 14 with 10 minutes to go in the 4th quarter before turning it on and scoring two TDs, the latter with just over a minute left in the game.
This time around, I expect a full-blown shootout. While MSU's defense is good, Wisconsin's offense is too good to be slowed down by a B1G defense. This is going to have a similar score to the previous game with each team getting their share of yards.
Ball had a big game for the Badgers last time (although, when has he not had a big game this season) and I expect them to ride him more. In order to keep that Spartan defense off the field, they're going to pound the ball down Michigan State's throat. I would expect a lot more than the 18 carries he got the first go-around.
As for MSU, their defense is going to be the key to this game. They're offense will score points against a weak Badgers defense. If their defense can keep Wisky out of the end zone, which they did fairly well for 3 and a half quarters last meeting, then they should win this game. But if it were that simple, Wisconsin wouldn't have just two losses.
In the end, this game means so much more to Wisconsin than it does to MSU. To MSU, this is a conference title game. But to Wisconsin, this is revenge. They'll be more motivated than they have all year. Wisconsin wins this game 45-24.
Next Best 3
1. LSU vs. Georgia - UH broke down the game here, so I'll just leave you with the final. LSU 28, Georgia 17.
2. Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State - This game determines the auto-qualifier for the BCS bowl game. OU is going to miss Broyles too much and won't be able to keep up with OSU. The Pokies win 51-31.
3. Virginia Tech vs. Clemson - The ACC title game is the least talked about, but still features two great teams. Va Tech is ranked 5th and the least talked about team in the nation. They'll get some attention this week when they win 31-17.
Last week - 8-1. Season - 94-30