Michigan State Football: Preview, prediction vs. Utah State

Michigan State football opens the 2018 season against Utah State and here’s everything you need to know, and a prediction, for the matchup.

Like last offseason, this year was just as long, but for different reasons. A year ago, fans had to suffer through 3-9 jokes and a tumultuous offseason. This season, Michigan State football fans just want the season to start because excitement and expectations are at an all-time high.

Must Read: MSU Football: Game-by-game predictions for 2018

Can you believe that it only took one year to get this program back on track? It’s actually mind-boggling, if you truly sit down and reflect on it.

Michigan State will open the season with Utah State which went 6-7 a year ago with an Arizona Bowl loss to New Mexico State. The Aggies have plenty of talent, including quarterback Jordan Love and the 19th-best secondary in the country a season ago. But they’ll be tasked with heading to East Lansing for the much-anticipated opener.

The Spartans should win this one with relative ease, but Utah State isn’t a cakewalk, by any means. This game could be much more competitive than expected.

Here’s how you can watch Michigan State vs. Utah State:

Date: Friday, Aug. 31
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Venue: Spartan Stadium
TV: Big Ten Network
Live Stream: BTN2Go

Keys to Victory

Utah State presents a challenge with dual-threat quarterback Jordan Love. The main key in this one is for the Spartans to contain the talented quarterback and hold him to under 200 total yards. If that’s the case, Michigan State should have no problem running away with this one.

On offense, getting LJ Scott involved early and the offensive line clicking will be important. The Spartans need to establish the run game which will just open up the playbook for Brian Lewerke. Michigan State shouldn’t have any problem reaching the end zone, but it starts with the effectiveness, and ball security, of Scott.

Betting Odds

Odds via Oddshark

Line: Michigan State -23.5
Over/Under: 50.5

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Prediction

Mark Dantonio has the Spartans in good position to make a run back to the College Football Playoff, but it starts with the offense. If this side of the ball can improve drastically from a season ago, this team can be special. Brian Lewerke will have a 250-yard game to start the year while LJ Scott will rush for nearly 150 yards as the backups get some good reps late in the game.

Final Score: Utah State 13, Michigan State 38

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