It's amazing how quickly all of that changed.
Now, MSU is just hoping to stick around in the discussion for a potential trip to the New Year's Six or one of the New Year's Day bowl games in the Sunshine State. The Maryland Terrapins would love to get to any bowl, but at this point, it's unrealistic to think they have any shot.
Maryland Terrapins vs. Michigan State Spartans
Date and Time: Saturday, November 18, 2017, 4 p.m. ET
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Opening College Football Odds: Check Back Later
Maryland vs. Michigan State TV Coverage: FOX
This Maryland team isn't as bad as its final record will show at most likely 4-8. The Terps will finish the year on a four-game losing streak assuming they get downed by both Michigan State and Penn State, but this was a brutal schedule to try to play through. Not only did Maryland have to contend with the Big Ten East, but it also had to play Wisconsin and Northwestern in the Big Ten West and lost to UCF in non-conference play.
Three scholarship quarterbacks are already out for the Terrapins. Max Bortenschlager has a shoulder injury while both Tyrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill have knee injuries that have ended their seasons.
The man left at this point is Ryan Brand, a walk-on. Brand is the first walk-on since 2002 to start under center at Maryland, and his stats certainly suggest that he's raw. He has completed just 51.1 percent of his passes with one touchdown and two picks. His 4.3 yards per pass attempt leaves a lot to be desired on a team that really has to run the ball successfully to have any chance in most games.
Outside of punter Jake Hartbarger and kicker Matt Coghlin, it's hard to say that there was a single Spartan who showed up and played well in a 48-3 loss at Ohio State last week. The loss was easy to see coming. Michigan State was fresh off of its big win over Penn State, and Ohio State was due to rebound and beat the snot out of someone after getting its butt kicked at Kinnick Stadium the week prior.
Still, it's one thing to lose and another thing to lose by 45 points.
The question that's left is whether Mark Dantonio can get his team up for a game like this one. Whether the Spartans win out or lose out, they're certainly going to a bowl game that is less than what they would have wanted at the outset of the season, and it's really hard to get up for Maryland and Rutgers after playing games against Penn State and Ohio State.
Even though most will look at how the Michigan State offense struggled mightily against Ohio State last week, let's not forget that this is one of the tougher offenses in America to try to watch week in and week out. Brian Lewerke has had a great season this year with the deck that he's been handed, but this is a team that has failed to score 20 points in five of its 10 games this season.
The Spartans are averaging just 22.0 points per game, ranking in the bottom-30 in the nation. Considering the fact that Lewerke has completed 60 percent of his passes and has a 16/5 TD/INT ratio and the fact that Madre London, Gerald Holmes and L.J. Scott are running behind an offensive line that has some legitimate NFL talent on it, it's hard to believe that this team can't figure out how to put the ball in the end zone more often than it does.
Maryland vs. Michigan State Free Picks
Maryland's offense plays ridiculously fast and will continue to do so no matter who is under center. Brand was given an impossible task last week of playing against a Michigan defense that remains one of the best in the nation in spite of the fact that it has really fallen flat this whole year as a team.
With a second start under his belt, we suspect Brand is going to be at least a little bit better. If he can get two touchdowns on the board against this Michigan State offense, this is a game that surely can be covered by the dog at all of your favorite online sportsbooks.
College Football ATS Pick: Take the Points with Maryland at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Michigan State 27, Maryland 14