Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Rutgers at Michigan State
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 24, 2018
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Michigan

Michigan State looks to snap a two-game losing streak and look a bit better to bowl game committees when it hosts Big Ten opponent Rutgers in the regular-season finale for both schools Saturday. The Spartans have scored a total of 12 points in losses to Ohio State and Nebraska over the last two weeks, while the Scarlet Knights enter the game having dropped 10 straight after a season-opening victory.

Rutgers has had its trouble scoring as well, getting defeated by a combined 62-14 by Michigan and Penn State over the last two weeks. Senior Gio Rescigno, a Michigan native, may get the start at quarterback in the last game of his career after he came into the loss to Penn State last week in place of freshman Artur Sitkowski, who has started all 11 games this season but has a nation-high 18 interceptions. Michigan State has had juggling quarterbacks as well, with redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardi getting the start last weekend but struggling in frigid conditions against Nebraska (15-of-41, 146 yards, interception). The Spartans' defense has been fantastic despite the losing streak, leading the nation in rushing defense (78.9 yards per game) while tied for 17th in scoring defense (18.7 points) and 19th in total defense (320.1 yards).

TV: 4 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Michigan State -27

ABOUT RUTGERS (1-10, 0-8 Big Ten): Ten straight losses would make any coach worried for his job, but Chris Ash reportedly doesn't have to worry about that as he finishes his third campaign with the Scarlet Knights. Ash would like to get another victory in the season finale, but won't have to worry about needing it to keep his job, so he'll likely be more relaxed with his coaching. Rutgers would certainly like to gain a little revenge on the Spartans after last season's finale in which the Scarlet Knights fell 40-7 on their Senior Day.

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (6-5, 4-4): With senior LJ Scott limited to four games this season because of injuries, sophomore running back Connor Heyward has been pressed into duty and has been the team's best offensive weapon in recent weeks. Heyward, the team's leading rusher (439 yards), led the Spartans in rushing yards (80) and receiving (five catches, 78 yards) against Nebraska, accounting for 54.7 percent of the team's total yards. Heyward is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation's most versatile player, and he will certainly see the ball plenty against Rutgers and the Spartans' bowl opponent.


1. Rutgers RB Raheem Blackshear leads the Scarlet Knights in rushing (580 yards) and receiving (41 catches, 338 yards).

2. Michigan State DE Kenny Willekes leads the Big Ten in tackles for loss (20.5) and is tied for second in the league in sacks (8.5).

3. Senior LB Andrew Dowell leads the Spartans in tackles with 85.

PREDICTION: Michigan State 27, Rutgers 7
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Rutgers 1-10 L10 13.8 33.0 1-6 0-4 0-0 0-0 0-8
Michigan State 6-5 L2 20.3 18.7 3-3 3-2 4-4 0-0 4-4
Last Meeting
Rutgers Michigan State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/25/17 MSU 40 RUTG 7 112 14 98 436 214 222
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Rutgers J. Lewis 37.5 98 1 2
Michigan State B. Lewerke 67.7 222 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Rutgers G. Edwards 4 10 2.5 0
Michigan State G. Holmes 10 59 5.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Rutgers R. Blackshear 2 50 25.0 1
Michigan State F. Davis III 6 72 12.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Rutgers R. Blackshear 1
Michigan State C. Heyward 1
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Rutgers A. Sitkowski 49.3 1158 4 18
Michigan State B. Lewerke 54.4 1868 8 9
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Rutgers R. Blackshear 133 580 4.4 3
Michigan State C. Heyward 95 439 4.6 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Rutgers R. Blackshear 41 338 8.2 2
Michigan State F. Davis III 31 474 15.3 4
Touchdowns Player TD
Rutgers J. Hilliman 6
Michigan State F. Davis III 5
Quickchart Matchup
Rutgers Rutgers Off vs  Michigan State Michigan State Def
Rutgers 270.7 yards
Michigan State 320.1 yards
Rutgers 3.9 yards/rush
Michigan State 2.6 yards/rush
Rutgers 4.4 yards/attempt
Michigan State 6.2 yards/attempt
Michigan State Michigan State Off vs  Rutgers Rutgers Def
Michigan State 346 yards
Rutgers 409.8 yards
Michigan State 3.5 yards/rush
Rutgers 5.4 yards/rush
Michigan State 6 yards/attempt
Rutgers 6.7 yards/attempt