Michigan State Football: 5 players to watch vs. Northwestern

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Sep 19, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; dMichigan State Spartans linebacker Andrew Dowell (5) celebrates fumble recovery during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Here are five Michigan State football players who we should be keeping an eye on against Northwestern this Saturday.

Another week is in the books and Michigan State football has dropped to 2-3 on the season after a tough home loss to BYU. It seems like the Spartans are showing no signs of life, but Mark Dantonio has a turnaround on the mind.

The head coach isn’t ready to give up on the 2016 season and focus on 2017, and he’s reiterated that point. Michigan State is a young, talented team that can be good for years to come, but for some reason, the current season has been a failure through five games.

Some players aren’t playing to potential while Tyler O’Connor, the offensive and defensive lines and third-down defense have all been major disappointments. Heck, you could throw the running backs into that group as well.

Can this team turn it around? It’s possible, but a win over Northwestern this weekend needs to take place in order for that to happen.

Here are the five Spartans we should be keeping an eye on against the Wildcats.


Tyler Higby

OG, Freshman

I’ve been high on Tyler Higby ever since he committed to Michigan State a couple of years ago. The redshirt freshman is finally getting his shot and he’ll be starting at left guard, lined up next to Kodi Kieler, this week.

If he lives up to the billing, he could be a special lineman for the Spartans. He was a high three-star recruit who was expected to ease into the playing rotation and Mark Dantonio has been praising him for the past year.

After redshirting in 2015, Higby got to see what it took to become a successful, NFL-worthy offensive lineman at Michigan State. He learned behind guys like Jack Allen, Jack Conklin and Donavon Clark and is currently getting pointers from Brian Allen and Kieler.

Standing 6-foot-4, 302 pounds, Higby is on the depth chart as the starter for the first time this season and that could be a shakeup that this line needed. Keep a close eye on the young freshman and see how he stacks up against Northwestern’s defensive line.

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