Crystal Ball Week 5

Spring practice is now a memory and fans are counting down until camp opens up in August. In our Spartan Digest Crystal Ball the Spartans are sitting with a record of 4-0 heading into their Big Ten opener against Wisconsin at Spartan Stadium. How does Spartan Digest see this contest ending up? We look into our crystal ball.

Wisconsin (Sat., Oct 2, 2010) Spartan Stadium

2009 Record: 10-3 BIG TEN 5-3

Last Game Against MSU: 2009 Score: 38-30 Spartan Loss

The Badgers enter the 2010 season with high hopes to win a Big Ten Championship. With prognosticators predicting the Badgers to finish in second or third place in the conference, an early trip to East Lansing could be the team's first real test of the season. The Spartans will be primed and experienced against the likes of Notre Dame while Wisconsin will find their biggest test coming from Arizona Sate.

With experience comes perfection at least that is what Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema is hoping for in 2010. Seven linemen who have starts under their belt, a starting quarterback and last season's Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, John Clay, should have the Badgers and their fans excited for a big season.

The Badgers will look for Clay and their offense to control the tempo of the game, but as Spartan fans know, Mark Dantonio and Pat Narduzzi will be ready to slowdown the Badgers running game and push for quarterback Scott Tolzien to win the game with his arm.

Tolzien is fully capable of shining as he's a solid and efficient signal caller who has a solid receiver in Nick Toon and a veteran offensive line anchored by Gabe Carimi and Josh Oglesby.

On defense the Badgers will need to keep improving upon their 2009 performance. With five returning starters, Wisconsin will need to have players step up along the defensive line and also in the secondary if they hope to reach the level many feel they can.

In this game look for Michigan State to take advantage of an inadequate pass defense and use Kirk Cousins to hit his receivers for big plays setting up key runs as the Spartans battle for their fifth win on the season heading into Michigan Week. Crystal Ball Prediction: Spartans Win – 27 - 14.

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