Michigan State (11) Opens Against Utah State

Michigan State Athletics

Michigan State Looks to Contend for Big 10 Title

The Utah State Aggies and the Michigan State Spartans will both be looking to go 1-0 to start the season. They meet at Spartan Stadium on Friday night to kick off the 2018 campaign. Big Ten Network has the kickoff at 7 pm EST.

Oddsmakers opened the Spartans as -27-point favorites versus the Aggies, while the game’s total opened at 50.5. The line is now Michigan State -23.5 and the total is up to 52.

No. 11 Michigan State enters this season with hopes of contending for a Big Ten title. Maybe a national championship if things go their way. They have to prove it on the field and avoid a start like 2017.

Michigan State Returns A Lot of Starters

Coach Mark Dantonio returns 19 of 22 starters from last season’s 10-3 campaign. That includes junior quarterback Brian Lewerke. He threw for 2,793 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2017.

The Spartans’ offense features a number of big playmakers. They are led by senior running back LJ Scott who had 898 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground in 2017.  Senior receiver Felton Davis III had 55 catches, 776 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

The Spartans juggled three running backs in 2017. This season, Scott should get most of the carries. He is hoping to avoid the fumble troubles that plagued him as a junior.

Having a more experienced Lewerke under center will make defenses have to respect the Spartans’ passing game more. Scott may be able to find more holes and finally get his first collegiate 1,000-yard rushing campaign.

Defensively, Michigan State may be even better. They allowed only 20 points per game in 2017 and returning nearly every starter.

Junior linebacker Joe Bachie is the leader for Dantonio’s defense. He paced the Spartans in tackles with 100, forced fumbles with two, and earning team MVP honors.

Utah State is Loaded With Returning Players as Well

The Aggies return 18 starters and could provide some troubles if the Michigan State offense isn’t sharp, having ranked tied for sixth in the nation in 2017 with 29 forced Fumbles.

The Aggies’ quarterback duties are sophomore Jordan Love’s this season. He displaced then-senior Kent Myers partway through the 2017 campaign. He finished with 1,631 yards and eight touchdowns through the air. Love has had an offseason to better learn coach Matt Wells’ system.

He’ll have plenty of experienced targets to look for in the passing game. The biggest question is how well the Aggies can protect Love. The team has struggled with over the past few years. Love is nimble on his feet and has shown the ability to pick up yards on the ground when he needs.

PREDICTION: Michigan State 42, Utah State 17

Recent Form

NameRecordATSOffenseDefenseDiffATS HomeATS AwayOU RecordOU HomeOU Away
Utah State6-76-733.0026.926.083-33-48-53-35-2
Michigan State10-38-527.0020.0075-23-36-72-54-2
Power Stats

Yards Per Point

Yards Per Pass
Yards Per Rush
Team Records

Utah State Aggies

NameRecordHomeAwayATSATS HomeATS AwayOffenseDefenseDiff
vs Conf4-41-33-14-41-33-132.6322.759.88
Last 31-21-00-21-21-00-231.0021.339.67

Michigan State Spartans

NameRecordHomeAwayATSATS HomeATS AwayOffenseDefenseDiff
vs Conf7-24-03-25-43-12-321.7820.111.67
Last 33-01-02-02-10-12-033.0010.3322.67


Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense30.155120.0019
Away Team Road Passing vs Home Team Home Passing Defense241.4350184.1437
Away Team Road Rushing vs Home Team Home Rushing Defense180.434289.576
Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense24.549626.9267
Hme Team Home Passing vs Away Team Road Passing Defense224.7174139.862
Home Team Home Rushing vs Away Team Road Rushing Defense169.1473266.29122

Head To Head Summary

Utah State
Michigan State
Head To Head Detail
DateAwayHomeScoreLineTotalOU ResultARYAPYATYATTHRYHPYHTYHTTAway Team AttemptsHome Team AttemptsAway Team CompletionsHome Team Completions
No Data to Display

College Football Betting Odds & Trends

Team Last 5 Games

Utah State Aggies

DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Dec 29, 2017NMEXST20-26L-5.5/63.5L/U187254441184191375-1A
Nov 25, 2017AIRFOR35-38L2/57L/O237284521407334400A
Nov 18, 2017HAWAII38-0W-10/56W/U3111644751721463180H
Nov 4, 2017NEWMEX24-10W3/51W/U12911424326575340-2A
Oct 28, 2017BOISE14-41L13/51.5L/O931862791633705330H

Michigan State Spartans

DateOpponentscoreResultlineATS Resultoffensive rush yardsoffensive passing yardsoffensive total yardsdefensive rush yardsdefensive passing yardsdefensive total yardsturnoversLocation
Dec 28, 2017WSHST42-17W-2.5/47.5W/O22721344024272296-1A
Nov 25, 2017RUTGER40-7W-14/42W/O2092224311498112-3A
Nov 18, 2017MARYL17-7W-14/44L/U27120291831212040H
Nov 11, 2017OHIOST3-48L17/55L/U641311953351895241A
Nov 4, 2017PENNST27-24W10/46.5W/O7440047465401466-2H

Next up:
Utah State home to New Mexico State Saturday, September 8
Michigan State at Arizona State Saturday, September 8

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