Michigan State Football: Updated game-by-game predictions for 2020

Xavier Henderson, Michigan State football (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Xavier Henderson, Michigan State football (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football
Anthony Williams Jr., Michigan State football (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Minnesota just lost Rashod Bateman to an opt out for the 2020 season and he has decided to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft and that’s a huge positive for the Spartans’ defense.

The Gophers are coming off an 11-win season and they return 3,000-yard passer Tanner Morgan as well as Mohamed Ibrahim in the backfield and five starters on the No. 10 defense in the country from a year ago. This isn’t going to be an easy game for the green and white as Mel Tucker will get a rude welcoming in his first game at Spartan Stadium.

Final Score: Minnesota 34, Michigan State 20 (0-1)

After getting a rough introduction as Michigan State’s head coach, Tucker will get a break against a Maryland team in Mike Locksley’s second season. The Terrapins are projected to have a poor season after going 3-9 last year.

Josh Jackson would be the starting quarterback but Taulia Tagovailoa could also push for the No. 1 spot if he’s granted immediate eligibility and he could also be pushed by talented freshman Lance LeGendre. The team’s top two running backs are gone and the only receiver to have more than 250 yards last season — Dontay Demus Jr. — returns.

The defense was the worst in the Big Ten a year ago and it returns five starters which could actually be a good thing to start fresh. Either way, Michigan State will bounce back.

Final Score: Michigan State 30, Maryland 21 (1-1)