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Utah State @ Michigan State Preview: A B1G First Challenge

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Here’s what you need to know before watching the game.

NCAA Football: Arizona Bowl-New Mexico State vs Utah State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

How To Watch

Location: East Lansing, Michigan (Spartan Stadium)

Date/Time: Friday, August 31st at 5:00 p.m. (MDT)

Television: Big Ten Network

Streaming: Requires a TV Subscription

Radio: Aggie Sports Network (92.3 FM local)

Head-to-Head: No previous matchups

What to look for:

Containing Brian Lewerke.

  • Lewerke is arguably one of the country’s top quarterbacks. He had a 59 percent completion percentage last year to compliment a 20/7 TD/INT split. The Aggies defense returns playmakers, but keeping Lewerke in check will be the difference between winning and losing.

The Aggies all-time record against Big Ten teams leaves much to be desired.

  • Utah State is just 1-14 all time against teams from the Big Ten, including a 59-10 loss to Wisconsin in last year’s opening weekend. History is working against them, but that hasn’t stopped teams before.

USU brings back a ton of experience.

  • Nine starters return on both offense and defense for the Aggies. Those numbers are second in the country only to Florida and … Michigan State. Most importantly, USU QB Jordan Love and WR Ron’quavion Tarver come back after finishing strong last season.

The Aggies defense loves to create turnovers.

  • Last season USU had 29 forced turnovers, including 16 forced fumbles. Those were good for sixth and second in the country respectively. If they can force Lewerke to make some bad throws and rip the ball out of MSU running back LJ Scott’s hands, Utah State will have a fair shot at winning.


The Michigan State Spartans are favored by 23.5 points in this contest. ESPN gives them a 95.5 percent chance of victory. As we can see, many people are sleeping on the Aggies, underestimating them and all the experience they bring back at almost every position. Utah State most likely will not come out of this game victorious, but they should definitely put up a fight.

Michigan State 42, Utah State 20.