X

Pinstripe Bowl 2019: Michigan State vs. Wake Forest TV Schedule, Time and Odds

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 26, 2019

Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke (14) passes under pressure from Rutgers defensive lineman Mike Tverdov (97) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Piscataway, N.J. Michigan State won 27-0. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The Michigan State Spartans have a chance to finish off their disappointing season with three straight wins if they knock off the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Friday's Pinstripe Bowl.

Mark Dantonio's side enters Yankee Stadium off two consecutive victories, which was a refreshing sight after a five-game losing run in Big Ten play from October 5-November 16. Wake Forest bolted out to a 7-1 start, but it struggled in ACC play in November and enters bowl season at 8-4.

A victory would hand the ACC side its first nine-win campaign since 2007, while Michigan State is trying to avoid its third losing season in Dantonio's tenure.

                          

Pinstripe Bowl Information

Date: Friday, December 27

Start Time: 3:20 p.m. ET 

TV: ESPN 

Odds (via Caesars)Michigan State (-3.5); Over/Under: 47.5

                  

Preview

EAST LANSING, MI -  NOVEMBER 30:   Quarterback Brian Lewerke #14 of the Michigan State Spartans is pursued by linebacker Isaiah Davis #22 of the Maryland Terrapins during the second half at Spartan Stadium on November 30, 2019, in East Lansing, Michigan.
Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Michigan State's bowl performances have been disappointing in the past three years compared to the four-game postseason winning streak it earned between 2012 and 2015.

A year ago, the Spartans struggled to score six points in a Redbox Bowl defeat to the Oregon Ducks. In 2015, the Big Ten East side was embarrassed by the Alabama Crimson Tide 38-0 in the Cotton Bowl.

Quarterback Brian Lewerke had 172 yards and an interception versus Oregon in December 2018, and his 2019 campaign has not been stellar with 16 touchdowns and 12 picks. In his past four outings, the senior produced five passing scores and eight interceptions, with multi-pick games versus the Maryland Terrapins, Michigan Wolverines and Illinois Fighting Illini.

In fact, the last time Lewerke did not give the ball away to the opposing secondary was September 28.

But he could reverse that trend against a Wake Forest passing defense that concedes 247.2 yards per game.

The Demon Deacons' defensive performances got worse as the season went on, as they let up 154 points in their last four games, including 39 in an overtime defeat to the Syracuse Orange. If the ACC squad fails to contain Lewerke and gets gashed by 892-yard rusher Elijah Collins, it could suffer a brutal end to what appeared set to be a successful campaign in October.

The biggest concern surrounding Dave Clawson's team is the health of quarterback Jamie Newman, who is listed as questionable after he left the Syracuse game with a leg injury. Newman had 14 passing touchdowns at the end of September, but has only produced nine since.

If he is healthy, the Demon Deacons' 12th-best FBS total offense could march up and down the field in a fast manner, one that Dantonio is preparing his side for, per the Detroit Free Press' Chris Solari:

"I've heard they're as fast as anybody in the country. We're practicing every 12 seconds, 10 seconds, that type of thing. The ability to focus in that amount of time, focus and bend your knees, I think is paramount to your success in these things."

If Wake Forest dictates the pace, it could cover as the underdog and help elevate the total points, but its recent inconsistency could be too much to overcome. If Michigan State silences the high-powered offense and runs the game at its tempo, it may go under, with little production coming from a Wake Forest side that was held under 20 points in two of its three defeats to bowl-eligible programs.

                         

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.