College Football Pick Illinois at Michigan State 10-16-10

Freepick1.comContributor IOctober 13, 2010

Illinois Fighting Illini (3-2) vs. #13 Michigan State Spartans (6-0)

Saturday, October 16th, 2010 12:00PM ET

Line: Michigan State -7

Michigan State has proved their for real this season, especially in last week’s, 34-17, win against the heavily hailed Michigan Wolverines. The Spartans are 14th in the league in rushing, averaging 225 rushing yards a game. They can also pass the ball behind their quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw for a season-high 284 passing yards last week. The Illini are a talented group, their win last week against Penn State pretty much saved their season.

Keys to the Game:

-          Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure has been a menace this year for the team. Even though he didn’t carry in a touchdown last week, he did get 27 carries for 119 yards against Penn State’s brick-wall defense.

-          Michigan State is becoming one of the nation’s best defense teams this year. They have held opponents to average 18.3 points per game this season. They managed to nab three interceptions from the Heisman-hopeful Denard Robinson, before sealing the victory.

-          The Spartans’ running game has been something to be reckoned with this season. Edwin Baker leads the team with 97 carries for 683 yards and six touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell has 71 carries for 549 yards and eight touchdowns.

Michigan State seems like the more complete team in this faceoff, not to mention their undefeated record heading into this one. Illinois has had a rough road getting here, but the team has been better behind their new quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase and their running game is ranked 19th in the league, with 217.6 rushing yards per game. Exciting and emotional college football to be packed in this one.

Free Pick: Michigan State -7