The big stage in college football moves to East Lansing and the campus of Michigan State with the Oregon Ducks getting ready to invade Spartan Stadium.
Last season the Ducks came back from being down at halftime to defeat the Spartans 46-27 as Marcus Mariota completed 17-of-28 passes for 318 yards and 3 scores and running back Royce Freeman added two running touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Put pressure on new quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. early and often.
The graduate transfer quarterback got off to a solid start going 19-for-25 for 246 yards and two touchdowns against his old school Eastern Washington. While Adams is new to the Ducks, he's an experienced signal caller with a 29-6 career record as a starter with 112 career touchdown passes. Michigan State must get pressure on Adams while also keeping him in check running the ball.
Get the running game going early and control time of possession.
Redshirt freshman Madre London got off to a solid start and was joined by Gerald Holmes and true freshman L.J. Scott giving the Spartans over 180 yards rushing combined. The Spartans must pound the ball and keep the Oregon offense off the field.
Defend the middle of the field against the pass.
Last week Western Michigan found some areas in the middle of the Spartans defense to make a few big plays. The Spartans must match-up against the multiple wide receiver sets the Ducks run and not allow for receivers to get open in the middle of the defense to make plays after the catch.
Let Connor Cook take his shots against the Ducks defense.
Once the Spartans get the run game going, they must let Connor Cook take his shots against a defense that gave up 438 passing yards to Eastern Washington in their season opener. This is the weakness in the Ducks overall game so far and the Spartans must make something out of it.
Get special in all phases of special teams.
After giving up big plays on kickoffs against Western Michigan the Spartans must show great improvement in this area and be at the top of their game in the other phases of special teams. No missed chances to put points on the scoreboard or bad punts that give the Ducks great field position can be allowed against an offense like this.
Who will win this game? We give our prediction at the end of this video.