What Does ESPN Think About MSU's Chances In Redbox Bowl?

What Does ESPN Think About MSU's Chances In Redbox Bowl?

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What Does ESPN Think About MSU's Chances In Redbox Bowl?

Michigan State (7-5) is already preparing for the Oregon Ducks (8-4) in the RedBox Bowl.  The Experts are starting to toss out their thoughts on all of the bowls – what do the folks at ESPN think about the matchup for the Spartans?

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For the second straight year, Michigan State will complete its season by heading west for a bowl matchup against a Pac 12 foe.

Last year’s 42-17 whipping of Mike Leach’s Washington State Cougars in the Holiday Bowl put an exclamation point on the reclamation project of 2017 following the 3-9 disaster of 2016.

The Spartans’ victory over Washington State gave Michigan State a 10-win season and got Mark Dantonio his 100th victory as the man in charge in East Lansing.

Almost immediately after the game ended, there was unbridled excitement about 2018 for Michigan State.

The entire mood and vibe throughout the program was one of confident enthusiasm due to so many starters and key contributors returning from a team that had gone 10-3, defeated Michigan and Penn State, and had its eyes on the Big Ten Championship.

We now sit here knowing that the 2018 season was full of frustration and didn’t come close to living up to the expectations that everyone had for it way back on the night of the Holiday Bowl victory a year ago.

But as the sting of the 2018 regular season starts to wash away and as things start to look like they might not be as bleak as they were at various points in the season, the Spartans are starting to sense that the invitation to square off against Oregon in the Redbox Bowl on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve may end up delivering similar enthusiasm that was felt a year ago.

If Brian Lewerke gets back to 100% after his shoulder injury – and there is every reason to think he will – isn’t it fair to speculate that the Spartan offense would have a different look, feel, and productivity potential?

What about the potential for the offensive line to have a consistent starting lineup that isn’t compromised by its own series of impactful injuries?

If a healthy Brian Lewerke has a full batch of skilled and experienced receivers to throw to who aren’t sidelined due to their own rash of injuries, would the offense take on a different look and feel?

How about a 100% healthy – and fully motivated – LJ Scott carrying the ball?

And the Michigan State defense?

Right now, it’s among the very best in the nation – and a gazillion players will be back in Spartan uniforms next season so there is every reason to be bullish on the idea of teams having a very hard time moving the ball and/or scoring against Michigan State.

So even though the Redbox Bowl comes after a 7-5 season rather than a 9-3 season, this matchup against the Ducks presents Michigan State with a whole lot of reasons for optimism as the Spartans prepare for the game and the 2019 season to come.

We’re going to spend a lot of time over the weeks ahead examining the personnel and unit matchups between the Spartans and the Ducks.

And we’re going to point out what The Experts think of Michigan State’s chances in the game.

Today, let’s take a quick look at what they’re saying at ESPN…..

Redbox Bowl: Oregon vs. Michigan State

(3 p.m. ET on Fox at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California)

Oregon’s Justin Herbert, who some think will be the first quarterback drafted in 2019, faces a ferocious Michigan State defense led by end Kenny Willekes. It’s just hard to believe in the Spartans’ offense, though, and Herbert leads a late touchdown drive to lift his team to victory.

Prediction: Oregon 23, Michigan State 20

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