AP NEWS

No. 21 Michigan State heavy favorite vs Central Michigan

September 27, 2018

Central Michigan (1-3) at No. 21 Michigan State (2-1), 12:05 p.m. ET (FS1).

Line: Michigan State by 29.

Series record: Michigan State leads 7-3.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Probably not much, if the game is a blowout as expected. But if CMU can keep it close, this is an opportunity for the Chippewas to increase their profile within the state of Michigan.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan State’s running game against CMU’s defensive front. The Spartans haven’t really clicked this season on the ground, and RB LJ Scott’s status is uncertain after he missed Michigan State’s most recent game against Indiana. If the Spartans have trouble running the ball against the Chippewas, that’ll really be cause for concern.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Central Michigan: DL Mike Danna. In a win over Maine last weekend, Danna had four sacks, and his five tackles for loss were the most by a CMU player since 2005.

Michigan State: WR Jalen Nailor. The freshman scored on a 16-yard reception and a 75-yard run against Indiana, and he may be the type of spark the Spartans need offensively.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan State is ranked No. 1 in the country in rushing defense. The Spartans have held opponents under 50 yards rushing for five straight games, dating to last season. ... Central Michigan is allowing only 140 yards passing a game, the nation’s fifth-best mark. ... Michigan State turned the ball over four times against Indiana. QB Brian Lewerke threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. ... Tony Poljan started at QB for CMU’s first three games, but Tommy Lazzaro took over against Maine and threw for 82 yards and a touchdown. ... Michigan State LB Joe Bachie has 20 solo tackles and 10 assists through three games.

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