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Saturday Night Football: MSU vs. Wisconsin, Stanford vs. Washington

B1G Game: Michigan State has a nasty, disciplined defense. Against FBS opponents, the Spartans are tied for the lead in yards allowed per play with Alabama. Run or pass, they can shut down what a team does well, but how do you shut down a team that does everything well?

Wisconsin has a huge offensive line, a power running game and a playmaking quarterback with an accurate arm who can spread the field horizontally and vertically. They are stewarded by an elite offensive coordinator. Wisconsin has hardly played anyone and hasn’t left home, but they are also beating teams as badly as they can be beaten (average margin 50-10).

MSU has the personnel to slow the Badgers, but not to stop them entirely. They don’t have the speed and they won’t get the consistency on offense to fire back. Kirk Cousins may have an innate propensity for overcoming adversity, but so does Brent Bielema.

Pac 12 North Showdown: Washington is a promising team. Are they a good one? Are they a very good to great one that can play a perfect game and pick off a Stanford team that has won 18 of its last 19 (the one loss at Oregon by a closer margin than the score indicated)? They might get there, but they’re not there yet. The Huskies will be jacked up for this one, but so will the Cardinal. It’s their first “big” game of the season. They can finally explore third and fourth gear.

Stanford has been held under 44 points once this year. Their closest victory margin is 26. This game should be closer than the 41-0 in Washington last year, but probably not competitive. Washington’s best hope is Stanford coughing and sputtering on offense in the first quarter while they put up a couple quick touchdowns. Stanford hasn’t allowed a first quarter point this season. Washington won’t be able to get a hand on Luck or keep up with his receivers. Should be 60 minutes of fun, for one team.

[Photo via Getty]

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