In a non-Paul Bunyan Trophy showdown, an exciting in-state rivalry takes center stage as Michigan State hosts Central Michigan to kick off their respective football seasons this Friday.
This marks the 12th encounter between the Chippewas and Spartans, with Michigan State holding the historical edge at 8-3. However, the last time Central Michigan emerged victorious was in 2009 in a memorable contest that culminated in a last-second field goal.
Central Michigan scored with just 32 seconds remaining but couldn’t convert a two-point conversion attempt involving none other than NFL star Antonio Brown. Nevertheless, the Chippewas managed to recover the onside kick, and quarterback Dan LeFevour guided his team into field goal range to secure the win.
Michigan State has since dominated the series, winning the last four matchups, with their most recent victory being a 31-20 triumph in 2018. Heading into the new season, there’s a sense of anticipation and uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position for Michigan State.
Kim, a fourth-year junior, displayed consistency in 2022, completing 14 of 19 passes for 174 yards, along with three touchdowns and no interceptions in just 38 snaps. However, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and Kim’s performance in recent drills has raised some questions. You may also check Bradley Rozner’s Unbelievable 8th College Football Season.
Notably, during warmups, he struggled with accuracy and even threw an interception in a seven-on-seven drill against his own defense, despite not facing any pressure. This inconsistency underscores the challenges and pressure of executing effectively on the field.
The Spartans had a disappointing season in their third year under coach Mel Tucker, finishing with a 5-7 record and a 3-6 mark in the Big Ten, missing out on bowl eligibility. This slump came after their impressive Peach Bowl victory in 2021, where they posted an 11-2 record for the season.
To compound matters, Michigan State experienced significant turnover through the transfer portal during the offseason. With two capable quarterbacks in Noah Kim and Katin Houser, the Spartans have options, but the question of who will emerge as the standout performer in this crucial position will linger throughout the season.
On the other side, Central Michigan also faced challenges last season, ending with a 4-8 record and a 3-5 record in the MAC, falling short of bowl eligibility. You should also read Ferrari Roars to Victory.
However, the Chippewas are eager to make a strong impression in their season opener, reminiscent of their spirited performance last year when they faced then-No. 12 Oklahoma State, despite ultimately losing 58-44.
As both teams prepare to battle in this exciting in-state rivalry, fans and football enthusiasts alike are eagerly anticipating the kickoff, with the hopes of witnessing some unforgettable moments on the field.