Michigan State football: Game-by-game predictions

michigan state football

We’re getting closer and closer to the start of the season for Michigan State football. With the Mel Tucker era less than two weeks away from beginning, here’s are game-by-game predictions for all eight of the Spartans’ 2020 games.

Oct. 24: RUTGERS

The Spartans are at home against Rutgers for the first game of the season. I wrote a “way-too-early” prediction on this game and had MSU coming out on top. I stand by what I said. The Spartans were experiencing a winning drought last season before playing Rutgers. MSU beat Rutgers 27-0 to end its dry spell and won the rest of its games as well, including the Pinstripe Bowl against Wake Forest. Opening the season against one of the worst teams in the Big Ten is a blessing for Tucker and his crew. I predict a high score for the Spartans.

Final Score: Michigan State 31, Rutgers 10.

Oct. 31: at Michigan

Michigan is dealing with a new quarterback and lost some key players from last season. While that does side well for Sparty, the Spartans will be knocked down a notch knowing they have to go play at the Big House (with no fans, however). Michigan is going to be the real test for Tucker. As long as he keeps it competitive and interesting, fans will enjoy it way more than last season’s game. As much as I want to see Sparty prevail, Michigan will come out on top because it has more experience as a team (hopefully not).

Final Score: Michigan 38, Michigan State 21

Nov. 7: at Iowa

The Spartans have to travel once again after their trip to the Big House. This time they will be traveling to Iowa City to play the Hawkeyes. Iowa has been a hot team in the Big Ten West for the past few years. The only change for them this season is a new quarterback. Everything else is pretty much the same. Iowa has a great defense, and the Spartans key flaw is at the QB position. This is going to be a defense heavy game, low scoring, with intense play. Being in Iowa City is going to be the Spartans downfall this game. Home field advantage will have Iowa coming out on top.

Final Score: Iowa 21, Michigan State 10

Nov. 14: INDIANA

Indiana always seems to play great against Sparty especially when they have players like quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who will have a great day running the ball since the Spartan defensive line has lost some key players. While Penix Jr. may run all over the Spartans, he is still human, and humans get tired. This is going to be a close one with the Spartans upsetting this much better Hoosiers team.

Final Score: Michigan State 21, Indiana 17

Nov. 21: at Maryland

This is a young Maryland team. Head coach Mike Locksley is only in his second season with the team and QB Josh Jackson opted out of 2020. Taulia Tagovailoa (brother of Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa) transferred from Alabama and gained immediate eligibility. With these things all factoring in, the Spartans come out on top just like last season and beat this young Terrapins team.

Final Score: Michigan State 28, Maryland 14


Northwestern always seems to have a number in for the Spartans. It has Peyton Ramsey, who transferred from Indiana last season, starting at quarterback, and he is an outstanding leader. If the Spartans beat both Indiana and Maryland, the momentum from those games will push the Spartans to come out on top. I have this being another close game but with momentum and home-field advantage on the Sparty’s side, the Spartans come out on top for the second year in a row.

Final Score: Michigan State 13, Northwestern 10


This is an amazing Ohio State team. It has everything it needs win a national title. A potential Heisman winning QB in Justin Fields, a defense just as good as last season, and great coaching. It hurts me to say this, but the Spartans don’t stand a chance in this game. The only upsides I can think of for the Spartans in this game are home-field advantage and new coaching schemes. This will not be a fun game to watch for Michigan State football fans. If you need to miss any games this season, I suggest you make it this one.

Final Score: Ohio State 42, Michigan State 10

Dec. 12: at Penn State

Michigan State will end its season with another top contending team and probably the second best team in the Big Ten. After taking a huge blow to the ego in the Ohio State game, the Spartans will not have the will power to come out on top for this game, especially playing in Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions have too many weapons in their backfield. Penn State will have its way playing against this young Spartan defense. Hopefully both of these games will be future teaching lessons for Tucker and his team. This will be another disappointing game to watch as a Sparty fan.

Final Score: 35 Penn State, 17 Spartans

In the end, Michigan State football will finish the 2020 season with a 4-4 record in Year 1 under Tucker.