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@LombardiESPN @RJ_Abeytia @ESPN_Pac12blog Litmus test for OL is against respectable defenses. TG averaged 5.12 YPC against top-25 teams: 18 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport
@RJ_Abeytia @LombardiESPN @ESPN_Pac12blog true, but there's inflation with cupcake teams. He's averaged 3.67 YPC against top-25 teams: 19 hours ago, Stanford Daily Sport

Football predictions: The 100th Rose Bowl Game

No. 4 Michigan State (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten) vs. No. 5 Stanford (11-2, 7-2 Pac-12)

George Chen: Stanford 24, Michigan State 13

Stanford is better than Michigan State. The media this past month has raved about how good the Michigan State defense is — and make no mistake, the Spartans defense is scary — but it’s hard to believe that quarterback Connor Cook will be able to consistently move the ball against Shayne Skov and company. Look at the explosive offenses that the Cardinal defense has shut down this year: Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA and Arizona State. If Stanford’s defense can shut Oregon down for over three quarters, I’m confident in the unit’s ability to impose its will on the Spartans offense. You can criticize Kevin Hogan for his shaky performance in the loss to USC, but he has played lights out in the past three games and I think he’ll be able to hit enough of the deep shots to Devon Cajuste and Ty Montgomery to give the Cardinal an early lead that it will never relinquish.

Sam Fisher: Stanford 27, Michigan State 16

Michigan State is a good football team, but I don’t think the Spartans are as good as the Cardinal. If Kevin Hogan and the Stanford offense struggle, Sparty can take advantage and grab a victory. But if the Pac-12 Championship Game was any indication, the Cardinal offense might turn some heads against a stout defense. Stanford jumps ahead early with some creative play calls, the defense holds Michigan State to field goals in the red zone and Ed Reynolds comes up with a game-sealing interception thanks to a ferocious pass rush.

David Cohn: Stanford 34, Michigan State 17

To me, Wednesday’s Rose Bowl matchup comes down to the preparation provided by each team’s regular season schedule. Quite simply, while Michigan State is certainly a very talented team, the Spartans have played nowhere near as difficult of a schedule as Stanford has. For the Spartans (with apologies to a one-dimensional Ohio State offense and a defense that gave up 34 points to Cal), this Rose Bowl Game is their toughest to date. In contrast, Stanford has arguably played at least three more difficult games this season: at home against Oregon, at Arizona State and at USC. Although MSU may be a better opponent than USC or even ASU, Stanford will not have to contend with the hostility of a road environment. As such, I expect Stanford’s regular season preparation to help lift it to postseason glory.

Do-Hyoung Park: Stanford 23, Michigan State 6

Not only am I confident that the Cardinal will win tomorrow, but I’m going to go one step further and say that the Farm Boys will win big and keep a mediocre and inconsistent Spartans offense out of the end zone altogether. Simply put, there are no defensive fronts in the Big Ten that can match the size, physicality, athleticism and discipline of Stanford’s seven, and I think the Spartans will be surprised and overwhelmed on the line of scrimmage, particularly on offense. I just don’t believe that Connor Cook can win a ballgame with his arm without an effective running game in the picture. As for the Cardinal, I would be surprised if Shaw and Bloomgren don’t have some twists planned to give Stanford an early lead against a Michigan State defense that I don’t believe can consistently beat the Cardinal’s monster offensive line. Look for Skov, Murphy and Gaffney to have huge days in their Cardinal swan song.

About The Daily Sports Staff

The Daily Sports Staff is the collective moniker of an overworked, beleaguered, underpaid collection of sportswriters that feel comfortable enough with their own self-identities to give up any sense of individualism for the good of the sports section. To contact The Daily Sports Staff, send an email to dpark027 'at' stanford.edu to reach Do-Hyoung Park, keeper of the souls of those sportswriters.
  • DUMP the chUMps
  • DUMP the chUMps

    David Cohn – THIS game is your most difficult opponent. Only Auburn, Alabama, and FSU would be tougher. http://spartanresource.blogspot.com/

  • Gary

    Coach’s playcalling the difference in loss.

  • Kris

    Hey george, sam, david and do, I am so glad your predictions were so confident. so wise you are…

  • Kris

    And now it is time for another michigan team to smash your program after the lions cherrypick your coach. hope it burns.

  • mdavt

    Oops.

  • Knuckles Mutatis

    There is little more humorous than when a sense of hubris is bluntly deflated.

  • Meg

    That’s cute

  • matvei

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLZ

  • Beth Ann Holme

    That was a good old fashioned ass kicking. Your coach isn’t as good as everyone has led him to believe. Up the middle on The Spartans ? Up the middle on the Spartans again ? You’re kidding me….again ? Ice your kicked asses preps.

  • MSU76

    Loved those picks! You guys really know your college football!! Stanford really “imposed its will” on the Spartans Offense, “holding us to only field goals”

    Your regular season wins really preparred you for post season glory. Loved those 4th down stops against those big “farm boys with such physicality, athleticism and discipline”

    Timber!!!

    Go Green!

  • MSU76

    Prepared. Happy fingers on the plane ride home

  • JABRONY

    Great predictions. Stanford got it pushed in by a serious opponent. Way to open up that play book Cardinal.

  • SPARTY-ON

    WRONG! Go Green! I was cracking up reading Do-Hyoung Park… OOPS!