Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Saturday, Oct. 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
So, are we back to this again for the Michigan State Spartans? By this, I mean great defense and a sputtering offense.
That's exactly what we saw last week, weather and missing receivers to the side, it wasn't a good performance for Connor Cook and the Spartans, who couldn't even muster more than a single touchdown against a Purdue defense that gave up 31 to opponents coming into the week.
Luckily for them they see another less-than-stellar defense coming at them this week as they travel to Champaign to take on Illinois.
Wisconsin pounded the Illini into submission on the ground, but Illinois also proved it has the offensive chops to play with some of the best defenses in the Big Ten.
Now, can Nathan Scheelhaase do it against easily the best defense in the conference (and likely the country)?
One thing is for sure, the Spartans secondary will be getting their biggest test of the season by far and the passing game matchup will be the key to victory in this one.
The Illini average 287.7 yards a game through the air (24th nationally), while averaging just over 35 points a game on offense.
Of course, Michigan State only allows opponents 168.9 yards a game (4th nationally) and just 13.6 points a game.
Something has to give between these two teams and for me, this one could be trouble for the Spartans if they can't get the offense going.
Luckily, they can't use the weather as an excuse for poor execution as it is supposed to be 58 degrees and just a bit windy.
So, I expect Cook and running back Jeremy Langford to have a performance more like the Iowa game and that will be more than enough to help a defense that may give up more yards in this one than they have to anyone all season long.
Pick: Michigan State 27, Illinois 20