The Washington Huskies bring their explosive offense to East Lansing to face the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday afternoon. Both teams enter 2-0 but the Huskies are heavy favorites on the road against the Spartans.
Besides facing a Washington team that ranks in the top 10 in the country in scoring, total and passing offense, Michigan State also will be missing head coach Mel Tucker. Tucker, who is in his fourth year at the helm, is suspended without pay in conjunction with a university investigation into sexual harassment claims against him. Assistant coach Harlon Barnett is serving as interim head coach in Tucker’s absence.
Barnett’s primary concern will be slowing down the nation’s No. 1 passing offense (472 yards per game). It starts with Heisman Trophy contender Michael Penix Jr. at quarterback. The senior and former Indiana transfer torched the Spartans (397 yards, 4 TDs) in last season’s meeting in Seattle, a 39-28 Huskies victory. Michigan State’s secondary also must contend with wide receivers Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan, who have combined for 40 catches, 454 yards and five touchdowns.
The Spartans will likely lean on their running game to try and control the tempo and keep Washington’s offense off the field. Sophomore running back Nate Carter has been Michigan State’s workhorse early on, gaining 224 yards on 37 carries with four scores. An effective ground attack won’t be enough, so quarterback Noah Kim will need to make plays with his arm as well. The junior has thrown five touchdown passes with no interceptions through his first two collegiate starts.
All odds from BetMGM. Looking for College Football tickets? Find them here.
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This matchup of future Big Ten foes will take place at 4 p.m. ET at Spartan Stadium. The game will be available on Peacock, NBC’s steaming service.
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(Photo of Noah Kim: Mike Mulholland / Getty Images)