South Florida (0-1) at Michigan State (1-0) (12 p.m. ET, on ESPNU)
Line: Michigan State -23 (Bovada)
Last Meeting: First Time Playing
3 Players to Watch:
1) Macgarrett Kings (WR, MSU):Kings has possibly been the best athlete on this team for the past two years, which is one of the reasons he was not redshirted a year ago. Today we may finally get to see what Macgarrett can do with a full game of playing time. As a freshman he caught four passes for 25 yards and he caught one pass for 14 yards in the opener against Western Michigan. He has been touted as being “sure handed” which would be a welcomed asset to this receiving core. In my mind MSU will try to use him the same way that they did with Keshawn Martin, if effective he may be able to secure his starting spot for the season.
2) Aaron Lynch (DE, USF):Well uh, you should remember this guy. He played for Notre Dame and wreaked havoc in MSU’s backfield, which included him leveling Kirk Cousins at one point. After sitting out last season, Lynch is back and I for one am worried. No the USF defense is not good, as their 53-21 loss to McNeese State showed, but Lynch on the other hand is very good. Michigan State’s offensive line will surely have their hands full with him and if they’re not careful he may be more than just a handful.
3) Tyler O’Connor (QB, MSU):Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook looked pretty darn bad against Western Michigan, combining for 17 completions on 37 attempts and 116 yards. The two will most likely play against USF, but it looks like redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor will play as well. How much time will O’Connor see? I have no idea, but if he hopes to have a chance at stealing the starting QB spot he better perform when given the opportunity. Sure the fans may want to see true freshman Damion Terry, but O’Connor got the majority of hype during camp and did have a year to learn the playbook unlike Terry. It will be interesting to see the redshirt freshman live, though I am not quite sure what to expect.
The home opener against WMU was extremely hard to watch as the offense only accounted for 13 points and the Spartans punted early and often. The USF defense does not look to be very good and if the MSU offense cannot get going it may be time to worry. Jeremy Langford looks to build off of his 20 carry, 94-yard and one touchdown performance, while the passing game looks to get on track.
Well our weekly good news is here: the Michigan State defense is still awesome and will be fun to watch regardless of how poor the offense looks. Sad this has to be said, but last weeks offensive “performance” was just that bad. Shilique Calhoun and his “bane” facemask will look to build off of a strong first game, which included a defensive touchdown and two hits against the WMU quarterback. Converted safety Jarius Jones was just a playmaker last week and I would try to keep my eyes on him throughout the game.
It will be interesting to see the new offensive pieces and I do have high hopes for Macgarrett Kings’ true debut. The QB battle could be fun to watch (if anyone moves the ball), but if not we can all see how good Mike Sadler is again. Hopefully we do not need to see how good Mike Sadler is 11 times this week.
My pick: Michigan State 31, South Florida 14