Michigan State football vs. Pitt Panthers predictions: Get ready for classic in Peach Bowl

Michigan State's Jayden Reed, left, and running back Kenneth Walker III celebrate Reed's 20-yard touchdown catch on fourth down against Penn State during the fourth quarter Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. The Spartans won, 30-27.
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  • Pat Narduzzi
    American football player and coach
  • Kenny Pickett
    American football quarterback

Michigan State football vs. Pitt Panthers predictions for the Peach Bowl 2021 game in Atlanta on Dec. 30 (7 p.m., ESPN). The Spartans are ranked No. 10; Pittsburgh is No. 12.

Jeff Seidel

This is going to be a fascinating matchup against Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi, a former MSU assistant. But the key will be MSU’s pass defense against Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett. The high-scoring Panthers are going to be a tremendous challenge, but the Spartans will win a shootout. Pick: Michigan State 35, Pittsburgh 31

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Rainer Sabin

The Spartans' improbable rise this season culminates with their 11th win. Kenneth Walker III caps his amazing year with another boffo performance and Mel Tucker lays the groundwork for continued success in 2022. The pick: Michigan State 30, Pittsburgh 21.

Chris Solari

The Kenneth Walker III-Kenny Pickett and Mel Tucker-Pat Narduzzi subplots will be well-discussed, but the two offenses are among the most explosive in the country and will put on a show in Atlanta. A healthy Walker and Jalen Nailor make the Spartans more dynamic, but it is the return of kicker Matt Coghlin to full strength that provides the winning kick and delivers the Spartans their 11th win. The pick: Michigan State 40, Pittsburgh 38

Shawn Windsor

The Panthers' best players are all in the right spots, which makes this a game of matchups. Pitt is good at stopping the run. MSU loves to run. Pitt has a first-round quarterback and an NFL receiver, MSU struggles to stop the pass. The Spartans have proven all season it's risky to pick against their grit and timely playmaking. Sometimes, though, it's a matter of how things line up on the field. In a back-and-forth Peach Bowl, the Panthers make the play in the end. The pick: Pittsburgh 33, Michigan State 27.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Pitt vs. Michigan State football predictions in Peach Bowl 2021

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