2016 Football Preview – Big Ten – Michigan State Spartans
Looking for 2016 Michigan State Spartans predictions? Coach Mark Dantonio will look to improve on the ending of last season, where he was blown out by Alabama on a national stage on New Year’s Eve. Dantonio will be fielding a new quarterback after Conner Cook went on to the NFL. Look for the new face of the offense on this Spartans team to fare well in the Big Ten.
2016 Big Ten College Football Preview – Michigan State Spartans
NCAA Division: Big Ten
Head Coach: Mark Dantonio
2015 Record: 12-2
Michigan State Spartans Odds To Win NCAA Championship +2200
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Michigan State will look to find their own early in this football season offensively, as they had lost some key contributors from last year’s team.
Look for these young players to leech on the leadership of Dantonio and the other veterans this team has, and they’ll come out with a successful year.
2016 Michigan State Spartans Predictions: Team Strengths
As I look around through this team, I see a lot of holes. But looking at this defensive line is going to be a very scary thing for Quarterbacks this fall.
The defensive line revolves around their best player and future top 10 draft pick Malik McDowell. McDowell came into East Lansing as a five star recruit that has not disappointed, as he tallied up 13 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in his sophomore campaign.
I look for McDowell to be impossible to block in the fall and he will make his presence known. Behind McDowell are two ends that have big potential to lead up to, Evan Jones and Demetrius Cooper.
Cooper comes into the year with a lot to build on, as he had 6.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks last season.
I look for Cooper to maximize on that this upcoming season and cause havoc in the backfield. Evan Jones is coming into his 5th year at Michigan State where he moved to defense from tight end.
Jones is a big body that will be able to matchup with anyone on the edge this season. He is big and powerful, with the help of a big offseason, he will be the real deal in his last season.
The other spot in the line will be interesting to see how it plays out come August. Right now I see Raequan Williams penciled in now since Damon Knox was not granted his 6th year of eligibility. But overall, whoever voids that 4th position on the line will succeed due to the other attention that is needed on everyone else.
This d-line will cause offensive line coach nightmares this upcoming season.
2016 Michigan State Spartans Predictions: Team Weaknesses
I look for the Wide Receiving core to be the weakness for this Michigan State team. The reason for this weakness also revolves around the quarterback situation this team will have. The offense will mainly be looking to dominate the running game with over 1700 yards of total rushing returning this season.
Connor Cook leaving will hurt this group because of the lack of experience the quarterbacks on this roster has. The offense will become more vanilla which will force the receivers to become more important in the offense, and I do not think this group is what is needed.
Last year the team leader, Aaron Burbridge, was able to produce 85 catches for 1258 yards. That was 45 catches and 739 yards more than the 2nd leading receiver. The Spartans will look for R.J. Shelton to lead the way this season.
Shelton recorded 43 catches (2nd on the team) and 503 yards on the season. Shelton will be the main priority in the receiving game. Behind Shelton look for Monty Madaris, a 5th year senior from Cincinnati, Ohio to contribute more this season.
Madaris only posted 2 catches for 47 in last year’s season. The Spartans did bring in two big time receivers in their 2016 recruiting class that will be expected to play. Donnie Corley and Cam Chambers will look to pass by the redshirt many expected them to get after they performed well in the spring.
This core has a lot of potential, but I look for them to be the weakness of this team due to the inexperience that they have.
2016 Michigan State Spartans Predictions:
( Michigan State Spartans 9-3)
This Michigan State schedule seems brutal on paper. Having to go back-to-back games with Notre Dame and Wisconsin, then later in the year with Ohio State and Penn State will be tough.
This team will be succeeding in parallel with the starting quarterback, and they have showed they can win with that victory at Ohio State last season.
I think that the exit of players like Conklin and Cook will be harder to play without than originally expected. Michigan State will need to become dominant on the running game this year, being led by L.J. Scott.
Last year they had a trio of running backs, but the way it looks now this is Scott’s backfield. I look for Michigan State to finish the regular season 9-3, losing to Notre Dame, Michigan, and Ohio State.
I believe that these teams will be much better than them defensively, and the offense will not be able to score points when needed. This will be a down year for the Spartans, as compared to past seasons, but their schedule is not helping them out any.
2016 Michigan State Spartans Football Schedule
- 9/2/16 vs. Furman Paladins 7:00 PM/ET
- 9/17/16 at. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 7:30 PM/ET
- 9/24/16 vs. Wisconsin Badgers TBA
- 10/1/16 at.. Indiana Hoosiers 8:00 PM/ET
- 10/8/16 vs. BYU Cougars TBA
- 10/15/16 vs. Northwestern Wildcats 3:30 PM/ET
- 10/22/16 at. Maryland Terrapins 7:30 PM/ET
- 10/29/16 vs. Michigan Wolverines TBA
- 11/5/16 at. Illinois Fighting Illini TBA
- 11/12/16 vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights TBA
- 11/19/16 vs. Ohio State Buckeyes TBA
- 11/26/16 at. Penn State Nittany Lions TBA
What do you think about our 2016 Michigan State Spartans predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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