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

Spartans battle Scarlet Knights

Quarterback Brian Lewerke #14 of the Michigan State Spartans drops back to pass during the first half of the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Spartans 16-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Quarterback Brian Lewerke #14 of the Michigan State Spartans drops back to pass during the first half of the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Spartans 16-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State looks to snap a two-game losing streak and look a bit better to bowl game committees when it hosts Big Ten opponent Rutgers in the regular-season finale for both schools Saturday. The Spartans have scored a total of 12 points in losses to Ohio State and Nebraska over the last two weeks, while the Scarlet Knights enter the game having dropped 10 straight after a season-opening victory.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Michigan State -27

 

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Rutgers has had its trouble scoring as well, getting defeated by a combined 62-14 by Michigan and Penn State over the last two weeks. Senior Gio Rescigno, a Michigan native, may get the start at quarterback in the last game of his career after he came into the loss to Penn State last week in place of freshman Artur Sitkowski, who has started all 11 games this season but has a nation-high 18 interceptions. Michigan State has had juggling quarterbacks as well, with redshirt freshman Rocky Lombardi getting the start last weekend but struggling in frigid conditions against Nebraska (15-of-41, 146 yards, interception). The Spartans' defense has been fantastic despite the losing streak, leading the nation in rushing defense (78.9 yards per game) while tied for 17th in scoring defense (18.7 points) and 19th in total defense (320.1 yards).

ABOUT RUTGERS (1-10, 0-8 Big Ten)

Ten straight losses would make any coach worried for his job, but Chris Ash reportedly doesn't have to worry about that as he finishes his third campaign with the Scarlet Knights. Ash would like to get another victory in the season finale, but won't have to worry about needing it to keep his job, so he'll likely be more relaxed with his coaching. Rutgers would certainly like to gain a little revenge on the Spartans after last season's finale in which the Scarlet Knights fell 40-7 on their Senior Day.

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (6-5, 4-4)

With senior LJ Scott limited to four games this season because of injuries, sophomore running back Connor Heyward has been pressed into duty and has been the team's best offensive weapon in recent weeks. Heyward, the team's leading rusher (439 yards), led the Spartans in rushing yards (80) and receiving (five catches, 78 yards) against Nebraska, accounting for 54.7 percent of the team's total yards. Heyward is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation's most versatile player, and he will certainly see the ball plenty against Rutgers and the Spartans' bowl opponent.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Rutgers RB Raheem Blackshear leads the Scarlet Knights in rushing (580 yards) and receiving (41 catches, 338 yards).

2. Michigan State DE Kenny Willekes leads the Big Ten in tackles for loss (20.5) and is tied for second in the league in sacks (8.5).

3. Senior LB Andrew Dowell leads the Spartans in tackles with 85.

PREDICTION: Michigan State 27, Rutgers 7

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