In the Big Ten, the Michigan State Spartans (6-6) were 4-5 in conference play finishing fifth in the East. The #2 Ohio State Buckeyes took the division with a 9-0 record. The Buckeyes also won the Big Ten crown and are in the CFP Semifinals. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-4) were 4-4 in ACC. They finished third in the Atlantic Division four games behind the division-winning #3 Clemson Tigers. The Tigers went on to win the ACC and will meet Ohio State in the CFP Semifinals at the Fiesta Bowl on December 28 at 8 pm ET.
2019 Pinstripe Bowl Pick – Regular Season
After winning seven of their first eight games, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons went 1-3 to end the season. Their first loss was to the Louisville Cardinals 62-59 on October 12. Our 2019 Pinstripe Bowl pick notes that big wins included North Carolina, Boston College, and Florida State. In their final four games, the Demon Deacons lost to Duke 39-27. Losses were to Virginia Tech 36-17, #3 Clemson 52-3, and Syracuse 39-30 OT.
Michigan State Spartans vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons – Stats
On defense, MSU is holding teams to 22.7 PPG. On the other hand, the Demon Deacons are allowing opponents 29.3 PPG. The Spartans are allowing 319.2 defensive yards per game with 210.6 being passing and 108.6 rushing. Wake Forest is giving up a hefty 162.6 YPG on the ground and another 247.2 YPG in the air. That’s 409.8 YPG total.
Michigan State at Wake Forest – Players
MSU has had quarterback issues with Lewerke’s inconsistent performance. However, the rush attack has a fearsome freshman who’s putting up solid numbers. The Spartan D will have to keep them in the game. Wake Forest puts a versatile quarterback on the field and deep receiving and rushing units. The defense has some fine players, but it is questionable.
Michigan State Spartans
The solid MSU defense comes with 36 sacks, 11 INTs, and 13 FF. They’ve recovered 10 of those fumbles. The Spartans also have 45 PD. Two players, Jacub Panasiuk and Raequan Willams, have five sacks, and two others, Antjuan Simmons and Joe Bachie, have 3.5 sacks. DE Kenny Willekes has posted nine QB bring downs. Corner Josiah Scott has garnered three picks, seven PD, and one FF.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
The Wake Forest defense has posted 30 sacks, 13 INTs, and 42 PD. Of the dozen fumbles they’ve forced, the Demon Deacons have recovered 10. In the secondary, DB Amari Henderson offers stealth defensive skills. He’s grabbed four picks and has 10 PD. DL Carlos Basham Jr. tops the team with 10 sacks and three FF. LB Ryan Smeda Jr. leads the club in total tackles with 72.
Five Keys to the Game
In creating our 2019 Pinstripe Bowl pick, we see the following as being the keys to this contest:
- Spartan QB Lewerke has struggled; needs a solid game
- WF offensive line must control oncoming MSU rush
- Spartan defense may have to win this one
- Wake Forest QB Newman is versatile and knows how to score
- Demon Deacons defense is penetrable
Our 2019 Pinstripe Bowl Pick
Our 2019 Pinstripe Bowl pick, we expect Michigan State to score about 31 points. We think they’ll keep Wake Forest to around 21. Those projections put us in the over category when it comes to totals. They also make the Spartans the winner at -3.5.