This is the third in a 12-day series looking at Michigan State’s opponents this football season and their chances against the Spartans.
Week 3: Eastern Michigan
Time and Date: TBA, Sept. 20
Venue: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
Eagles at a glance
Coach: Chris Creighton (first season)
Last season: 2-10 overall; 1-7 MAC (5th West Division)
Returning starters: 13 (eight offense, five defense)
Preseason magazine predictions
Athlon: 2-10 overall; 1-7 MAC (6th, West Division); ranked No. 124 nationally
Lindy’s: 6th, MAC West; ranked No. 120
Sporting News: 6th, MAC West
Why they’ll beat the Spartans
They won’t. Not even if Connor Cook, Jeremy Langford and Tony Lippett miss the game with the flu, and the Trae Waynes comes down with a grass allergy.
Why they won’t
The Eagles have experience on offense, including a relatively heralded recruit at quarterback, Brogan Roback, returning for his sophomore season. Unless Roback suddenly becomes the next Peyton Manning, there’s no overcoming this Eagles defense, which allowed more than 500 yards and 45 points per game last season and isn’t expected to be considerably improved.
Worse yet for the Eagles, MSU isn’t likely to overlook them, the memory of 2012 and an early bye both hurting the chances of a letdown game.
Two years ago, MSU nearly lost at home to Eastern Michigan — and might have, if not for a dropped touchdown pass in the second half. It was among the many signs of trouble for MSU in 2012. The Spartans are a completely different offense these days and the bulk of the roster remembers that scare. It won’t come close to happening again. This is likely the bottom of the MAC vs. the top of the Big Ten, or close to it.