Central Michigan vs Michigan State: 5 storylines to follow

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Sep 19, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Air Force Falcons quarterback Karson Roberts (16) has pass hurried by Michigan State Spartans defensive lineman Malik McDowell (4) during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

3. Will MSU add to its sack total?

The answer to this one should be a resounding ‘yes.’

Related: Central Michigan vs Michigan State: 5 players who need to step up

Central Michigan is one of the worst teams in the country when it comes to protecting the quarterback as the big guys up front have allowed Cooper Rush to go down nine times this season. Last year, the quarterback was sacked 27 times, and he’s on pace to blow past that this year.

The Spartans didn’t have a chance to assert their dominance against Air Force last week because they threw the ball just nine times and every time it seemed like Karson Roberts was just tossing the ball up, hoping his receivers would rise up and snag the ball — and 66 percent of the time, they did.

However, Rush drops back for a pass about 43 times per game and the Spartans have 11 sacks this season against two pass-heavy teams. If Michigan State doesn’t add to its sack total in this one, something’s wrong.

The Spartans rank in the top-10 in the country in sacks recorded and will likely improve that number and jump into the top-five after this one.

Shilique Calhoun, Joel Heath, Malik McDowell and Lawrence Thomas are ready to have a field day.

Next: 2. Run game asserting itself