Michigan State Spartans vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Game Preview

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Joe Broback

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Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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If you stayed up for the late night game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and Michigan State Spartans, you were treated to a low scoring, but entertaining game. Arizona State stunned the Spartans 16-13 in Tempe. The Sun Devils travel to East Lansing to repeat that task, but must do so with a freshman quarterback. The Michigan State Spartans return their starting quarterback, but the offense remains a question. It’s your typical Spartans defense, which will suffocate the run and get after the quarterback, but they might need to score themselves if they want to ease into a win. Maybe the offense is better than we expected, but we need to see it first.

How to watch: FOX
Start time: 3:00pm CT
Line: Michigan State -15
Location: Spartan Stadium (East Lansing, MI)


Michigan State Spartans keys to the game

  • Establish the run
  • Rattle Jaylen Daniels
  • Rally to the ball

Arizona State Sun Devils keys to the game

  • Get in Lewerke’s face
  • Put Daniels in success
  • Field goals will win

Michigan State spartans players to watch

DE Kenny Willekes (12 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks)
LB Joe Bachie (14 tackles, 2.0 TFL)
QB Brian Lewerke (506 yards passing, 4 TD – 1 INT)
WR Darrell Stewart Jr. (16 catches, 241 yards , 1 TD)

Arizona State Sun Devils player to watch

RB Eno Benjamin (297 total yards, 2 TD)
QB Jayden Daniels (588 yards passing, 3 TD – 0 INT)
WR Brandon Aiyuk (29.8 ypc, 1 TD)
LB Khaylan Kearse-Thomas (9 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks)

Why Michigan State wins

Arizona State stunned the Michigan State Spartans last year, but it will be tough to pull that off two years in a row. Michigan State’s defense is better than last year, and guys like Kenny Willekes and Joe Bachie will get in Jayden Daniels face a ton even if their not hitting him. They should key in on rattling the freshman into some mistakes. When Daniels doesn’t have the football, they need to rally to Eno Benjamin. The potential first round NFL Draft pick was limited to just 27 yards on the ground last year, and the Spartans can do that again. On offense, they need to establish the run. Last year, the Spartans produced just 65 yards on the ground in last year’s 16-13 loss. Brian Lewerke passed for 314 yards in the game, but it’s unlikely he repeats that feat. Finding a featured back to help him out will do wonders for the offense.

Why Arizona State wins

Protecting Jayden Daniels is Arizona State’s top priority this week. His success will determine the success of the team. Last year, Manny Wilkins put on a show passing, but he’s gone. Running the ball against Michigan State most likely won’t go well, so the pressure turns to the freshman. If he’s protected and put in good situations, the Sun Devils can pull off another stunner. They can also help themselves by getting in Lewerke’s face early. Frequent pressure typically forces him into turnovers that can swing the game into Arizona State’s favor. They also might rely on field goals to win the game again. Three field goals were needed to win last year’s contest (including the game winner), and that could happen again.

Prediction

Winning in East Lansing won’t be easy for the Sun Devils, but don’t count them out. If Michigan State’s offense is efficient, they’ll win this one with ease. Given how things went last year, that still might not be enough. Still, a Spartans team at home and looking for revenge will be the difference to win. MICHIGAN STATE 30 ARIZONA STATE 21

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