Michigan State cruised to a 52-0 victory over Akron on Saturday to improve to 2-0 on the season. The Spartans overwhelmed the Zips on both sides of the football, and the Mid-American Conference foe had no answers.
Before we look ahead to Michigan State’s road trip to Washington in Week 3, let’s take a look back at how our staff here at Spartan Nation performed in our bold predictions and final score picks.
1.) WRs Jayden Reed, Keon Coleman each score 2 touchdowns
Reed and Coleman were the two leading receivers for Michigan State against Akron. With that said, neither scored a single touchdown, even though they were Payton Thorne’s favorite targets on the day. Reed sat for the entire second half due to a second-quarter injury, while Coleman was pulled later due to the lop-sided nature of the game. So, this prediction was a miss.
2.) Payton Thorne completes 65 percent of his throws
Thorne completed 18-of-28 on his passes. If you do the math, that’s 64.2 percent, so this prediction was a miss by the slightest of margins.
Thorne was sharper in Week 2 than he was in the season-opener, but he did throw two interceptions with no touchdowns and 212 yards passing. He hasn’t been pleased with his first two performances this year, for obvious reasons. Looking ahead to next week, the turnovers can’t happen. I’m sure he would also like Reed and Coleman in the end zone more often as well.
3.) RBs Jalen Berger, Jarek Broussard both have 100 yards of total offense
This was another close prediction. Jalen Berger had 112 total yards, 107 of them on the ground. This is his second game in a row where he rushed for over 100 yards.
Jarek Broussard had a better game than he did against Western Michigan. But, he fell short of the prediction. Broussard ended up with 81 yards rushing and didn’t catch a pass.
Honorable Mention: Noah Kim throws first career TD pass
Kim not only threw his first touchdown of his college career, he completed both of his two pass attempts against Akron.
Matt's Final Score Prediction: Michigan State 48, Akron 10
Michigan State was too much for Akron, on all sides of the ball. Both teams left points on the field, but it doesn’t change the fact it was a one-sided game. The Spartans offense performed better on the scoreboard than Matt predicted, while MSU’s defense also managed to pitch a shutout.
1.) MSU has more sacks than in Week 1
Finishing with five sacks against the Zips, the Spartans were two short of their Week 1 mark. Michigan State didn’t have a single sack in the first half, but the pass rush still impacted Akron’s offense. Pass rush specialist Brandon Jordan has clearly made a mark on the program in just a few months with the team.
2.) Spartan defense forces 3 turnovers
Michigan State had four fumble recoveries on the night, one of which was recovered by rising star defensive end Jacoby Windmon. Although they didn’t have any interceptions, the Spartans had eight pass break ups, which was more than what they had against Western Michigan. This is a step in the right direction for rebuilding the defense to the standards that his program once had on that side of the football.
3.) Five different Spartans will catch a touchdown
While it was a reach to begin with, the Spartans only had one passing touchdown on the night, and it wasn’t even thrown by Payton Thorne. While 11 players caught a pass against Akron, only one made it in the endzone – Tre Mosley.
Aedan's Final Score Prediction: Michigan State 52, Akron 6
This is the second consecutive week where I’ve correctly guessed one of the two team’ss scores. This week it was Michigan State’s point total.
The run game and defense were dominant for the Spartans against Akron, but things will get much harder to predict next week when Michigan State heads to Washington.
MSU was expected to win their first two games. Outside of the third quarter against Western Michigan, there hasn’t been a doubt or scares from either of their opponents. Now, they head to Washington, who will be the Spartans first ‘Power Five’ opponent of the season.
Michigan State surprisingly opened as the underdog, and playing in the Pacific Time Zone has shown to be difficult for midwestern schools.
The confidence is running high amongst the defense, but the offense knows it can do better. Jalen Berger has shown he can be a bellcow running back and Keon Coleman has emerged as the second receiver. If Payton Thorne minimizes his mistakes, the trip to Seattle should be a good one for MSU.