Michigan State will look to get its offense rolling as the Spartans host the South Florida Bulls on Saturday in East Lansing.
The Spartans picked up a win in their opener, but a 26-13 triumph over Western Michigan isn't exactly going to get fans reserving tickets for a BCS bowl game.
Michigan State has to get things rolling before heading into the Big Ten portion of their schedule against a Bulls team just hoping to find some positives.
In Willie Taggart's first game as South Florida head coach, the Bulls hosted lower-division McNeese State and were humiliated, 53-21. As Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press passed along, Taggart called his debut a "nightmare." He even went as far as to say “there were guys that quit.”
This sets the stage for two teams desperate for improved performances.
When: Saturday, Sept. 7 at 12 p.m. ET
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
TV Coverage: ESPNU
Spread: Michigan State -23 (according to Bovada)
Over/Under: 44 (according to Bovada)
South Florida Injuries (via USA Today)
Lawrence Martin, OL, Probable: (Suspension)
Tye Turner, TE, Questionable (Neck)
Julius Forte, DE, Questionable (Knee)
Thor Jozwiak, OL, Doubtful (Heart)
Jalen Spencer, DB, Out (Shoulder)
Michigan State Injuries
Jack Allen, OL, Doubtful (Foot)
James Kittredge, DL, Doubtful (Hernia)
Lawrence Thomas, DL, Doubtful (Undisclosed)
Skyler Burkland, T, Out for Season (Undisclosed)
A.J. Troup, WR, Out for Season (Knee)
Key Storyline: Will the Spartans Find Offensive Rhythm?
Michigan State mustered just 297 yards of offense against Western Michigan and scored only one offensive touchdown.
The running game did alright by gaining 181 rushing yards at 4.3 yards per carry, but the passing game was terrible.
Andrew Maxwell started under center. He threw 21 passes and tallied just 74 yards. This led to Connor Cook getting time at quarterback, and he wasn't any better.
The Spartans are staring at a long season if this offense doesn't improve, and it better be vastly improved this game because South Florida's defense was historically terrible in its opener.
The 53 points that McNeese State hung on the Bulls set a record for points scored by an FBS team against an FCS team.
This is not going to be a good offensive season for the Spartans. The passing game is in too much disarray to say otherwise.
However, that doesn't mean that offense still can't beat up on a sinking Bulls team.
Michigan State still has a solid ground game, and that will be foundation enough to lead the Spartans to a 31-13 victory.
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