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Michigan State football vs. Arizona State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Spartans battle Sun Devils

Brian Lewerke and Michigan State are coming off a 10-win season. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Brian Lewerke and Michigan State are coming off a 10-win season. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Az. – Two Power 5 conference unbeatens will square off in the desert when No. 13 Michigan State travels to face Arizona State on Saturday night. The Spartans escaped with a season-opening 38-31 victory over Utah State last week, while the Sun Devils, in coach Herm Edwards’ debut, romped over Texas-San Antonio 49-7.

TV: 10:45 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Michigan State -6

 

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Quarterback Brian Lewerke, who grew up in Arizona, had a big first game for the Spartans, going 23-of-33 for 287 yards and two touchdowns as Michigan State racked up 452 yards of total offense. The running game was solid for coach Mark Dantonio as well, with LJ Scott (84 yards) and Connor Heyward (42 yards, two touchdowns) able to find holes in the Utah State defense. Arizona State’s offense looks to be in midseason form as well, totaling 503 yards behind quarterback Manny Wilkins, who threw for four scores in the opening win. Sophomore running back Eno Benjamin was solid in his first game as the team’s feature back, rushing 16 times for a career-best 131 yards and a touchdown, as well as catching two passes for 15 yards and a score.

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (1-0)

Although the Michigan State defense allowed 31 points and 344 yards to Utah State, there were a lot of positives for Dantonio to be happy about. The Spartans gave up 25 yards on the ground, and there were big plays from the team’s top defensive players to help clinch the victory. Linebacker Joe Bachie had 11 tackles and a game-clinching interception, safety Khari Willis notched an interception, and defensive end Kenny Willekes had two sacks and a forced fumble, with all three providing the leadership Dantonio expected from them coming into the season.

ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (1-0)

Somewhat lost in the offensive explosion by the Sun Devils in the opener was how well the team’s defense played, holding UTSA scoreless until just over six minutes remained. Arizona State allowed three rushing yards and 221 yards total, recording nine sacks, 15 tackles for loss and three turnovers. Things get a little tougher against a potent Michigan State attack, but Edwards said he felt very good about the effort of his defense under first-year coordinator Danny Gonzales, especially the depth that saw 27 defensive players see the field.

EXTRA POINTS 

1. With its rally against Utah State, Michigan State notched its 18th fourth-quarter comeback under Dantonio, the most of any FBS team since 2007.

2. The Arizona State defense will get a boost with the return of senior linebacker Jay Jay Wilson (46 tackles, two sacks in 2017), who was suspended for the opener.

3. Sun Devils' running backs have now carried the ball 562 times without a fumble, a span of 20 straight games.

PREDICTION: Michigan State 31, Arizona State 27

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