Michigan State running earlier Kenneth Walker III., appropriate, is tackled by Northwestern linebacker Khalid Jones during the initially half of an NCAA college footsphere game in Evanston, Ill., Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)AP

Following a roster overhaul via the deliver portal, there was a lot of uncertainty around what Michigan State’s 2021 team would look favor.

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Some of those concerns were answered in a successful opener to coach Mel Tucker’s second year leading the regime.

The Spartans (1-0) won 38-21 at Northwestern last week and also are currently heading right into their house opener on Saturday (noon, BTN) versus Youngstown State (1-0) in East Lansing.

Heading right into the season, this looked like plainly the easiest game on the schedule. Youngstown State is an FCS routine that finished 1-6 in a pandemic-delayed spring schedule prior to opening the loss via a 44-41 overtime win versus Incarnate Word.

Michigan State will have a far-ranging advantage on paper and will need to protect against a letdown, which shouldn’t take place offered it’s the home opener and tbelow are so many kind of players completing for snaps. Tucker likewise made sure to suggest out to his team the upsets that happened in college football last week. They included Montana, an FCS routine, winning 13-7 at then-No. 20 Washington.

The Spartans are coming off their initially seachild opener on the road in Big Ten play since 1982. After checking off a victory versus the defending West Division champion, they must be able to manage the Penguins. Michigan State is 2-0 in the all-time series against Youngstvery own State via a 28-6 win in 2011 and also a 55-17 victory in 2013.

It wasn’t a surprise to view Kenneth Walker III take over as Michigan State’s beginning running ago. But, it’s difficult to believe anyone assumed the Wake Foremainder transport was going to provide the method he did in his debut for the Spartans.

Walker ripped off a 75-yard touchdvery own run on the first play of the game and finimelted through 23 carries for a career-high 264 yards and four touchdowns. He posted the seventh-most rushing yards in a game in regimen history, currently has actually more yards on the ground than any Spartan had actually in last year’s seven-game seakid and also leads the nation in rushing.

It didn’t take long for Walker to live approximately the praise teammates and coaches heaped on him in the offseakid. For a routine that’s rushing strike struggled and also was nearly missing last year, it was a performance that was lengthy overdue and also gave hope. It will be amazing to view what Walker does following.

Youngstvery own State’s defense will certainly be tested to slow down the Spartans after offering up 41 points to Incarnate Word last week. The Penguins have actually tools of their own, including running ago Jaleel McLaughlin. The transport from Division II Notre Dame College had actually 242 yards and also 2 touchdowns on 29 carries and also two catches for 46 yards last week. That indicates the leading rusher in FBS and FCS will certainly be on oppowebsite sidelines on Saturday.

Making his first start at Youngstown State, freshmale quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw was 9-for-12 passing for 112 yards, a touchdvery own and also no interceptions. He likewise had actually 20 carries for 81 yards and also 2 touchdowns. The Spartans will tasked via maintaining an eye on him operating an RPO-heavy offense.

Michigan State’s starting offensive line was as expected at Northwestern. However, the Spartans additionally blended it up and also went nine deep up front as component of five different combicountries before a backup team went in late in the fourth quarter.

With Michigan State rushing for more than 300 yards for the initially time given that 2014, it was a effective dehowever for the new-look line that included the addition of Arkansas State left tackle carry Jarrett Horst. Offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic shelp he’ll proceed making use of all nine if they deserve playing time.

On the other side of the round, the Spartans played a whopping 13 defensive lineguys versus Northwestern – salso ends and also six tackles. Five linebackers played and also the surprise came with redshirt freshmale Cal Haladay earning the founding spot next to Tennessee carry Quavaris Crouch while Michigan carry Ben VanSumeren, Chase Kline and also Noah Harvey all got snaps.

The Spartans didn’t go deep in the additional, primarily sticking with Xavier Henderson and Angelo Gincreased at security and Kalon Gervin and also Alabama transport Ronald Williams at cornerback while Michael Dowell and Darius Scurrently split time at nickelearlier. Youngstown State can be a opportunity for Michigan State to expand the rotation at cornerago and also check out what some of the others have the right to perform.

The last time fans attended a game at Spartan Stadium was on Nov. 30, 2019. An announced attendance of 51,366 experienced Michigan State edge Maryland also 19-16 to end up being bowl eligible in what verified to be Mark Dantonio’s last home game as head coach.

The weather should be much nicer on Saturday for the return of fans after they were banned at Big Ten games last year. Tright here was a solid amount of support on the road last week at Northwestern and also it will certainly be exciting to view just how many show up on Saturday. Fans were currently opting to watch games from residence and COVID-19 remains a threat, likely bring about some continuing to be amethod. Masks are compelled in all indoor locations of the stadium but not in outdoor seats in what is otherwise somewhat of a go back to normalcy.

Tailgating is ago, so is the pregame Spartan Walk. Tucker will certainly be coaching his first house game through fans in attendance and last week offered them through hope the regime his headed in the appropriate direction. He and the players are obviously searching for support.


Michigan State has more talent than Youngstown State and also picked up a Big Ten road win while debuting a revamped roster. The Spartans have actually plenty of motivation to show they’re a vastly boosted team from a season earlier. Walker need to be able to follow up on his monster performance, suppose quarterback Payton Thorne to be even more effective throwing the deep ball and Michigan State to enhance to 2-0 through a pilgrimage to Miami looming next week. Michigan State 42, Youngstvery own State 10

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Related Michigan State footsphere stories:

Michigan State footsphere players grateful, but UWM stipend draws gender equity criticism

Michigan State QB Payton Thorne eyes ‘ton of room for improvement’ from seachild opener

Tom Izzo, Mel Tucker excited to check out Alan Haller as brand-new Michigan State AD

Youngstvery own State encountering ‘tremendous challenges’ in trip to Michigan State

Mark Dantonio believes Mel Tucker will certainly have actually ‘good success’ at Michigan State

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