All eyes will be at Lucas Oil Stadium this coming Saturday as the Michigan State Spartans and the Iowa Hawkeyes square off in the much-anticipated Big Ten championship game. It’s bound to be one epic finale with the winner not only grabbing the coveted conference crown, but also the all-important berth in the College Football Playoff.
Can Iowa continue its undefeated run and win its first-ever Big Ten championship game? Or will the fifth-ranked Spartans spoil their party this coming weekend? Read on below for a preview of this mouth-watering showdown and while you’re at it, you can check out our championship previews in the SEC, ACC, Pac-12 and AAC.[sc:NCAAFArticles ]
Michigan State Spartans vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Preview
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
When: Saturday, December 5, 8:17 PM ET
Line: Michigan State Spartans (-3.5) at Ohio State Buckeyes (+3.5); total: 52.5 – view all NCAA Football lines
TV Broadcast: FOX
Betting on the Michigan State Spartans (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
The Michigan State Spartans booked their place in the Big Ten Championship game with a resounding 55-6 victory over Penn State on Saturday. It was the most emphatic win of the season for the Spartans, who will play in the Big Ten title game for the third time in five seasons.
[sc:NCAA240banner ]Leading the way for the Spartans in this game was Connor Cook. The star quarterback made a triumphant return from injury, completing 19-of-26 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Cook showed no ill effects from his shoulder problem, becoming the school’s all-time leader in total offense in the final home appearance of his spectacular career.
He will fancy his chances of extending that excellent form against an Iowa defense that isn’t exactly cruising heading into the Big Ten final. In the Hawkeyes’ last four games against Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and Nebraska, the Iowa defense allowed over 400 yards of total offense in each of those contests. They also surrendered an average of 25.5 points during that four-game span.
That being said, the Spartans can’t afford to be one-dimensional against the Hawkeyes this weekend. They will need their three-headed running attack of L.J. Scott, Madre London and Gerald Holmes to step up big time against Iowa. The trio combined for 125 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win against Penn State. They will have their work cut out for them, however, against an Iowa side that possesses the nation’s sixth-ranked rushing defense, allowing just 110.0 yards per game on the ground this season.
The Spartans are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
Create a betting account now and put your NCAA college football predictions to the test!
Betting on the Iowa Hawkeyes (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten)
Iowa will head to its Big Ten showdown with Michigan State with momentum on its side after edging past Nebraska, 28-20, on Friday. It was another impressive victory by the Hawkeyes, who achieved their first perfect regular season in 93 years. The Hawkeyes have won their first 12 games by an average of 15 points.
Iowa has gotten to this point thanks in large part to the brilliance of quarterback C.J. Beathard. He has compiled a quarterback rating of 139.3 while throwing for 2,354 yards, 14 touchdowns and just three interceptions. The Hawkeyes’ offensive line has contributed greatly to Beathard’s success, allowing just 20 sacks this season, 47th-fewest in all of college football.
Also excelling for Iowa this season is running back Jordan Canzeri. He has been the Hawkeyes’ lead runner this season, posting a whopping 964 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns year. The 5-foot-9 senior is coming off a monstrous 140-yard, two-touchdown performance in Iowa’s regular-season finale against Nebraska.
The Hawkeyes are going to need another strong outing from Canzeri if they are to beat Michigan State in the Big Ten final. Canzeri, however, will have his hands full against the Spartans who boast the nation’s 16th-ranked rushing defense. Michigan State is allowing just 118.2 yards per game on the ground this season.
The Hawkeyes won’t be fazed by that fact, though, as they have fared extremely well against some of the nation’s best rushing defenses this season. Iowa has already faced four of the top 25 teams in run defense this season (Northwestern, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Pittsburgh), rushing for 696 yards and 10 scores in those games.
The Hawkeyes are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games with the Spartans.
Michigan State (-3.5) books a spot in the College Football Playoff with a 31-24 win.[sc:NCAA490banner ]
2,087 total views, 1 views today