Key Matchup Michigan State – Oregon

What will be the key match-up when Michigan State host Oregon on Saturday night in Spartan Stadium? Spartan Digest takes a quick look at the biggest battles in this big game.

When Oregon takes the field Saturday night in Spartan Stadium they will put their powerful offense on the field against Michigan State's powerful defense.

Last season the Spartans held the Ducks to only 18 points in the first half, however, a 28-point outburst in the second half gave the Ducks an impressive victory.

For Michigan State to have success they'll have to do several things. The biggest will be to slow down the Ducks offense and that will start in the trenches between the Spartans heraled defensive front seven and the Ducks offensive line.

Projected starters for the Ducks include redshirt senior left tackle Tyler Johnston, redshire senior left guard Matt Pierson, senior transfer Matt Hegarty at center with junior Cameron Hunt at right guard and sophomore Tyrell Crosby at right tackle.

Here is a look at each member of the Ducks offensive line.

Tyler Johnston earned Freshman All-American honors during the 2012 season as he started all 13 games played that season. He followed that up with another solid season in 2013 before being injured in the Alamo Bowl. 2014 saw Johnston still hampered by injuries and only able to take part in drills this past spring on a limited basis. Now back at full strength, he'll provide leadership and skill at left tackle.

Matt Pierson is a former walk-on who has fought his way on to the field. 2014 would turnout to be his breakout season after playing sparingly in the season opener and not playing against the Spartans. He then broke into the starting lineup starting six consecutive games before havign to miss time due to his own injuries. Played right tackle last season but is now at left guard.

Matt Hegarty is no stranger to Michigan State as the former Notre Dame offensive lineman earned the starting nod 13 times during his Irish career. Played both right guard and center during his time in South Bend but is not solid at center for the Ducks.

Cameron Hunt earned seven starts as a true freshman in 2013 earning honorable mentino freshman All-American honors. Started out as a tackle and was being grommed for center during the past spring until Hegarty arrived on campus. Brings a lot of experience to the right guard.

Tyrell Crosby got snaps early as a true freshman and quickly earned nine starts at right and left tackle. Entered this season as the starter at right tackle bringing great physical size and athletic ability to the position. Has the least amount of experience and should see the Spartans test early and often.

The Spartans defensive front of Shilique CalhounJoel HeathMalik McDowell and Lawrence Thomas must get control early in this game and keep the Ducks offensive line off Riley Bullough and the rest of the Spartans linebackers.


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