Crystal Ball Week 1

A year ago believed Michigan State was in for a special run during the 2010 college football season. We went out on a limb and predicted Mark Dantonio's team would go undefeated and took some ribbing from those who did not believe. How do we see 2011 working out? Our Crystal Ball is back.

Youngtown State (Friday September 2, 2011) Spartan Stadium

7:30 PM ET

YSU 2010 Record: 3-8

Last Game Against YSU: First meeting between the two teams.

The Big Ten Champions take the field for a Friday night contest against Youngstown State. This is the first meeting between the two programs and allows Mark Dantonio to give back to a school he spent some time coaching at (1986-1990).

The Penguins are coached by Youngstown native Eric Wolford who has brought some new energy to the program.

Last season the Penguins averaged a school best 412 yards per contest on offense while averaging just over 31 points per game. However, they still finished the season with a 3-8 record losing their final seven games in the process.

Back will be leading passer Kurt Hess who started all 11 games last season going 179-204-8 with 12 touchdowns along with the team's top rusher Jamaine Cook.

Cook is also another young player the Penguins are looking to build around. Last season he rushed for 1276 yards on 241 carries and scored 11 touchdowns and YSU coaches expect him to have an even better junior year.

On paper the Penguins should have been better than their 3-8 record. However, in the final three games they loss by a total of 12 points combined.

It is always hard to call season openers because there are things being worked on by both teams.

However, feels the Spartans will hand the Penguins their eighth consecutive loss and be more charged up to play in this special night opener in front of a crowd ready for some football. Crystal Ball Prediction: Spartans Win - 40-10.

Spartan Digest Top Stories