RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (2-7, 0-6 Big Ten) @ MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (2-7, 0-6 Big Ten)
WHERE: Spartan Stadium – East Lansing, MI
KICKOFF: Noon ET on Big Ten Network
GAMETIME FORECAST: Sunny, with a high near 49. Light southwest wind becoming west southwest 6 to 11 mph in the morning.
LINE: MSU -16
The Michigan State Spartans can not end the 2016 season fast enough and already begin planning for the 2017 campaign. They STILL sit winless in the Big Ten, one of just two teams to not earn a victory yet in conference play… the other being the team they share the field with Saturday afternoon in East Lansing.
It appears all systems go for redshirt senior quarterback Tyler O’Connor under center this week. O’Connor left in the middle of the team’s 31-27 loss in what was an admirable performance going 23/35 for 265 yards, although no touchdown passes. Backup QB Damion Terry was responsible for the team’s lone passing TD in that game. With both O’Connor and Terry not exactly 100 percent heading into the game against Rutgers, MSU is hoping at least one of them can survive the rest of the season, so the team is not forced to burn the redshirt of freshman quarterback Messiah deWeaver.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have had a very difficult season just like MSU, but for a number of reasons. Rutgers was never expected to be any sort of threat with a first-year head coach in Chris Ash working with a relatively young and inexperience group. However, if you’re an RU fan, something to be encouraged about the offense has played as of late. Rutgers salvaged just 14 total points in its first four conference games. In the last two, they’ve scored 59 points, albeit resulting in two defeats. Coach Ash made a QB switch to junior Giovanni Rescigno a few weeks ago, and has performed adequately, an improvement from what the Knights were getting from Chris Laviano.
MSU holds a slim 4-3 advantage all-time against Rutgers, although they’ve won the only two meetings as Big Ten foes, including a 45-3 drubbing in East Lansing in 2014.