Eastern Michigan-Michigan State Preview Capsule
Eastern Michigan (0-3) at No. 21 (Michigan State (2-1), 3:30 p.m. (BTN)
Line: Michigan State by 33.
Series record: Michigan State leads 8-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Spartans need to get their swagger back after a humbling 20-3 loss last week at home to Notre Dame, knocking them 11 spots down in the rankings, before hosting Ohio State next week in their Big Ten opener. The Eagles are hoping to avoid getting routed for a second straight week following a 54-16 loss at Purdue.
Michigan State WRs against Eastern Michigan DBs. The Spartans struggled offensively against the Fighting Irish because they dropped what would have been a touchdown pass and several others that could have helped QB Andrew Maxwell. Pudge Cotton returned a Caleb TerBush pass for a touchdown last week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
EMU: QB Andrew Gillett has started 30 games and has thrown 34 TDs, but his job status is not secure after throwing six interceptions in three games. Sophomore Tyler Benz was 5 of 14 for 78 yards, with a 36-yard pass, in relief of Gillett against the Boilermakers.
MSU: WR Bennie Fowler. He had a key drop in the end zone against Notre Dame, but could potentially be the downfield receiving option Maxwell needs to make defenses respect more than RB Le’Veon Bell.
FACTS & FIGURES
Eastern Michigan wouldn’t allow running backs coach Mike Hart to be interviewed this week. After helping Michigan win at Michigan State in 2007, its last victory in the series, Hart referred to the Spartans as a little brother. … Bell is averaging 119 yards rushing to rank third in the Big Ten and tied for 16th in major college football. … The Eagles are led by reigning Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year Ron English, a former Wolverines assistant in his fourth season at EMU. … MSU TE Dion Sims is already having the best year of his three-year career with 16 catches for 165 yards.
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