Final Score Predictions vs. Minnesota in Week 4

Saturday is a big day for Michigan State football. It’s a chance for Mel Tucker and company to prove that the Week 3 loss to Washington was a fluke. Undefeated Minnesota is coming to town.

Although the Gophers are not ranked, they are technically the favorites in this matchup and Michigan State will have to be the favorite for the second straight game. A house dog? That seems like a perfect opportunity to prove some people wrong.

Gophers won’t be easy to take down, as they have one of the best ground attacks in the nation and really solid defense, but they’re not exactly battle-tested.

Who wins this Big Ten opener for both teams?

Our staff predicts the football game between Minnesota and Michigan State

Connor Muldowney: This is a tough question to judge, but I’ll give Mel Tucker the benefit of the doubt and say that what we saw against Washington is not indicative of what to expect in the future. The Spartans were bad last week, but they don’t usually lose two in a row with Tucker, unless you’re counting the 2020 debacle when neither team looked good. Michigan State will bounce back here with a win over the Gophers and will prove to be the more talented team.

Prediction: Minnesota 20, Michigan State 24

Emmett Matasovsky: With Mel Tucker promising upcoming personnel changes, the Spartan secondary should improve a bit this week. Also, the Golden Gophers don’t have the throwing and receiving threats that the Huskies did. This will be better than the Washington game, but I’m not ready to commit to a Spartan victory.

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It can be said that Mohammed Ibrahim is the best runner in the country. Ibrahim will get his rushing yards and probably some touchdowns to go with them. The Spartans are heading into the game just outside the top 25 in rushing yards per game, but they haven’t proven themselves yet. Akron was atrocious, and Western’s fast offense wasn’t much better apart from two bad defensive lapses. Washington didn’t have to run long until they tried to run out the clock. Minnesota will use Ibrahim, but 17-year-old Tanner Morgan is likely to be heavily involved in their game plan. Chris Autman-Bell is out for the season, hampering the Golden Gophers, but I’m not sold on the MSU secondary.

Minnesota has impressive defensive stats. However, they have played an FCS opponent, New Mexico State, and the worst Power Five program, Colorado. They will be tested by the Spartans. That said, against the Huskies, the Spartans couldn’t run the ball for dear life. I think this game comes down to Thorne’s arm again. If Jayden Reed is back and fully healthy, I can see the Spartans pulling off a win. With Reed probably limited, I think the Spartans are down three.

I would love to be wrong and find out everything on Sunday.

Prediction: Minnesota 31, Michigan State 28

Conner Linsner: After a tough loss to Washington last week, the Spartans will have to look to get back on track. The Spartans actually match up pretty well with Minnesota. Minnesota is going to deliver the ball and won’t be able to throw the rock like Michael Penix did last weekend. Tanner Morgan is a solid quarterback, but he’s not a guy who throws crazy shots or shoves balls into tight windows. I see this game as very close and into the fourth quarter with a secondary Spartan allowing a late touchdown pass that gives PJ Fleck the win.

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Prediction: Minnesota 31, Michigan State 28

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