The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will host the Michigan State Spartans in a Big Ten battle Saturday afternoon from HighPoint.com Stadium. The Spartans were crushed 44-10 at rival Michigan last week, and the Scarlet Knights were demolished 59-21 by Ohio State in their previous game. Michigan State notched a 14-10 home win against Rutgers last season.
Spartans' Woes Continue with Fifth Straight Defeat
The Michigan State Spartans need a victory in their last two games to become bowl eligible. The Spartans are struggling, dropping five consecutive games with issues on both offense and defense. Michigan State wasn’t competitive in an ugly 44-10 road loss to #15 Michigan last week to drop to 2-5 in Big Ten play. Brian Lewerke has tossed five picks in his last two games. The senior QB is having trouble with turnovers this season and has registered 2178 passing yards with a 13:9 TD to INT ratio.
The Spartans should generate big yards on the ground. Elijah Collins recently posted 170 rushing yards against Illinois and he has accrued 742 rushing yards on the year. Spartans' receiving leader Darrell Stewart Jr. has missed the last two games with a leg injury and is questionable for this one. The senior WR has 694 receiving yards. The Michigan State offense had a strong first half but has done almost nothing in their current five-game slide with the exception of their 34 point effort to Illinois.
The Spartans' defense is also having trouble in their losing streak. Their pass defense is slipping and now stand 71st in the FBS, while their rush defense is 15th. Michigan State is currently averaging 21.8 points, ranking them 110th overall. They are allowing an average of 25.6 points, placing them 52nd in the country. The Spartans hold a 2-4 road record and need a win in their final two games to become bowl eligible.
Rutgers Plummets to 0-7 in Big Ten Play
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are searching for any positives they can find before their terrible season concludes. Rutgers holds an 0-7 Big Ten record which included a 59-21 home loss to Ohio State last week in a clash that had Rutgers as 52 point dogs. Johnny Langen has seen a bulk of the playing time recently and has posted subpar results. The freshman QB has tossed three picks in his last two games and has 619 passing yards with a 4:8 TD to INT ratio. Langen can do damage on the ground, posting 284 rushing yards.
Rutgers has experienced a bit more success with their rushing offense. Isaih Pacheco will take several carries per game. The sophomore back has surpassed 100 yards twice this season and has logged 591 rushing yards on the season. Pacheco will be in tough against an elite Spartans rush defense. Bo Melton has only made nine grabs over his last three games and leads the Scarlet Knights with 369 receiving yards. The Rutgers offense has been a disaster for most of the season. Their 21 point output last week against the Buckeyes was their highest total in Big Ten play.
The Rutgers' defense is just as bad as their offense. They have squandered over 40 points four times this season and are 91st against the pass and 107th against the run. The Scarlet Knights are currently averaging only 15.3 points, placing them down at 127th in the country. They are allowing an average of 38.6 points, positioning them 126th overall. Rutgers is 2-4 on their home field with both wins occurring in non-conference play.
The Michigan State Spartans are:
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- 0-6 ATS in their last 6 Big Ten games.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a losing record.
The top supporting trends for this game found on covers.com are as follows: The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 November games.
- 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game.