Michigan State vs Western Michigan: 5 things to watch for

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Jan 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan State Spartans safety RJ Williamson (26) returns a block field goal attempt as Baylor Bears place kicker Chris Callahan (40) is blocked in the fourth quarter in the 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium. Michigan State beat Baylor 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State vs Western Michigan might not exactly be the biggest game of the season, but the Spartans and Broncos are sure to showcase solid offenses and light up the scoreboard early.

Must Read: MSU Football: 5 reasons the Spartans will win it all

Mark Dantonio’s squad has a chance to prove that it belongs in the national discussion for a College Football Playoff spot next week against Oregon, but they simply can’t overlook Western Michigan as the Broncos are no pushover.

Plenty of top players from a year ago return to the field for the Broncos who won eight games last season and made a bowl game just a year after a one-win campaign in P.J. Fleck’s first year as head coach in 2013. This team has just enough talent to make the home contest tonight a scary one for the Spartans.

While many people might already be handing the Spartans a victory before they even step onto the field at Waldo Stadium, they have to remember that this might be the biggest home game in the school’s history and the crowd will be electric.

Dantonio will have his troops ready as always, but there will be a few story lines to keep an eye on throughout the game.

Will the Spartans’ vaunted defense be as formidable as it was under the direction of Pat Narduzzi? Will the newcomers have a solid impact on the outcome of their first game? Which players will step up and become stars in the first game and carry that over for the rest of the year?

Check out the five things to watch for in tonight’s contest.

Next: 5. Jarvion Franklin