All eyes will be on MSU offense, looking to rebound from tough 2018 campaign.
Tulsa (3-9 last season) at No. 18 Michigan State (7-6), Friday at 7:05 p.m. Eastern (FS1).
Line: Michigan State by 23.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
It’s the first chance for Michigan State to show off any offensive improvements after the Spartans scored only 32 points in their last four games last season. The Spartans shuffled roles around among offensive assistants, and Brad Salem is now the offensive coordinator.
Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke vs. Tulsa’s pass defense. The Golden Hurricane finished eighth in the nation in pass defense a season ago and return plenty of starters on that side of the ball. Lewerke played well in 2017 but threw only eight touchdown passes last year.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tulsa: LB Cooper Edmiston was the team’s leading tackler last season. He also had three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Michigan State: DE Kenny Willekes returns after breaking his leg in the Redbox Bowl last year. He led the Big Ten in tackles for loss and received first-team all-league honors.
FACTS & FIGURES
Michigan State has won 20 consecutive home openers. … Tulsa opens the season outside the state of Oklahoma for the first time since 2013, when it played at Bowling Green. … Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has 107 victories with the Spartans, two shy of Duffy Daugherty’s school record. … Tulsa RBs Shamari Brooks and Corey Taylor II combined for 1,813 yards rushing last season. They’ll be up against a Michigan State defense that finished No. 1 in the nation against the run. … Tulsa has options at QB. Seth Boomer started eight games last season. Zach Smith, who started 10 games in two seasons at Baylor, sat out last season after transferring. The Golden Hurricane also have redshirt freshman Davis Brin.
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