Michigan State -4 3.3% PLAY
Wake Forest struggled because of injuries down the stretch and lost their best offensive and defensive player for the season. Their offense finished outside the top 60 in YPP, and are completely one dimensional, which is something Michigan State’s defense has dominated over the years. Michigan State against teams who did not have a top 60 offense this year held those opponents to 8 points per game. All 5 of those offenses had faced significantly tougher schedules as far as defenses faced than Wake Forest. Wake Forest’s offense has relied on converting third downs as they are one of the best, and Newman at QB certainly helps that situation as a runner. However, they have faced just two teams in the top 50 in third down defense, and both of those games led to season lows in points of 17 and 3 points. I think Michigan State has enough on defense to hold Wake Forest who is coming from the weaker conference in the ACC - Pitt did not look good, and Miami lost outright as a favorite 14-0.
Michigan State’s offense has been the issue all year, and it’s Brian Lewerke against top pass defenses which has been the issue. When Lewerke has a good game this team wins. Lewerke 13 TD’s to 4 INT’s in wins and 3 passing TD’s to 10 interceptions in losses. When he faces a pass defense that is not in the top 60 in the nation he averages 300.6 yards per game, and has passed for 9 TD’s to 4 INT’s, and they have scored 28.8 points per game, 6.8 more than they averaged all season. Wake Forest has given up points down the stretch to some bad offenses and I think Lewerke in his last college game could have a big day here especially since it looks like he’ll get his top target Darrell Stewart back who has been practicing and is still listed as a game time decision..
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