Ahh the forever exciting Credit Union Holiday Bowl. This year we are treated to one of the most interesting coaches in the sport Mike Leach, and his Washington State Cougars as he takes on The Spartans of Michigan State. This game will be fun because its an offensive coach (Leach) vs a defensive coach (Dantonio) and I really don’t know what to expect. The line is at Michigan St -2.5 and the over under is at 47.5 for this one.
The Washington State Cougars (9-3) saw their season peek when they defeated USC at home 30-27, following that game Washington St ranked inside the top 10 and their QB Luke Falk was in the Heisman conversation. This is why I say they peaked after USC they were 5-0, they finished 4-3 with all 3 losses coming by 20+ points and Falk plummeted out of the Heisman conversation. Falk still did well though leading the Cougars to the tune of 374.8 passing yards per game ranking 2nd in the entire country! This pass attack mixed with the uncommon speed they have from their down lineman on defense creates for a perfect storm if you’re a cougar. The key for Washington St will be getting their “speed rush” to make sure they stop the run, the Spartans will try and keep the ariel assault of Washington St to a minimum by running the ball and killing clock.
The Michigan St Spartans (9-3) come into this game ager a very impressive season their only “bad” loss came on the road to North Western where they fell 38-31 to the Wildcats. Otherwise that the Spartans lost to eventual Big 10 Champs Ohio St and to a healthy top 5 Notre Dame team. The spartans like all the other big 10 teams rely on a strong defense and a heavy dose of the run game to beat opponets. The Spartans run game is lead by RB LJ Scott who ran for over 800 yards and 6 touchdowns on the year, but the Spartans have one of the better low key dual threat QBs in the county in Brian Lewerke. Lewerke is completing just shy of 60% of his passes, tossed 17 TDs, Ran for 5 more, and is 2nd on the team in rushing including a 61 yard TD run. The Spartans will take care of the ball and their 23rd ranked defense will do their best to keep the Spartans in it.
This game is so tough to pic because I love Mike Leach, I think he’s hilarious and a pretty good coach as well. But I can’t ignore what the numbers show and thats that Washington St. struggles against mobile QBs/running teams. With that being said I think the Spartans win 31-24.
Michigan St -2.5