2018 Big Ten Preview Michigan State Spartans

Location: East Lansing, Michigan  2017 Record: 10-3 (7-2 Big Ten) Head Coach: Mark Dantonio  2018 Record: 2-1 (1-0 Big Ten) All-Time Record vs OSU: 15-31What has happened thus far in 2018: The Michigan State Spartans took a surprising loss in the second game of the season as the Herm Edwards-led Arizona State Sun Devils knocked off the then-No. 15 ranked Spartans with a field goal during the expiring seconds of regulation to secure the 16-13 victory. Michigan State bounced back versus Indiana in Week 3 with a 35-21 victory.  Impact Player:  Senior running back L.J. Scott is the most experienced player on the roster, but a slow start mixed with an ankle injury has limited his production thus far in 2018. Scott is a three-time letter winner with the Spartans and is a physical downfield runner with the capability of making an impact in the red zone against the Buckeyes. Strengths:  Creativity has helped Michigan State win its two games this season. Trick plays against Indiana were the decisive plays that allowed Michigan State to pull away with the victory against the Hoosiers last week. Quarterback Brian Lewerke made a quick pitch in the red zone to make a seven-point lead into a 14-point lead, which lasted for good. Lewerke also hauled in his first career reception during the game in a unique sequence of play calls that caught the Hoosiers off guard.  Weaknesses: Sloppy play has dug the Spartans into some holes this season that has made its path to victory harder than it needs to be. Lewerke has again been plagued by interceptions with four already this season after seven last year, and the offense has looked stagnant at times, such as in the loss to Arizona State. Michigan State also committed nine penalties in its opener against Utah State, flaws that it was able to make up for in Week 1. But those flaws could come back to bite them later in the season.

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