Todd Graham led Arizona State
to a two-win improvement in his second year with the Sun Devils. (Rick Scuteri/AP)
Arizona State and Michigan State will play a home-and-home series in 2018 and 2019, the schools announced Tuesday.
The Sun Devils will host the first game of the series at Sun Devil Stadium on Sept. 8, 2018, and the Spartans will host the return game at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 14, 2019.
“I am excited that we are able to announce the series with Michigan State University,” Arizona State coach Todd Graham said in a press release. “Scheduling is very important to the overall success of a program and this is the type of matchup that we are seeking to fill our future dates. This series will help build our football program.”
Michigan State and Arizona State have faced each other only twice, in 1985 and 1986. The Spartans won the first meeting in East Lansing but lost a year later in Tempe.
To make room for the Michigan State game, the Sun Devils moved their previously scheduled matchup against San Diego State in 2018 from Sept. 8 to Sept. 15.
Arizona State went 10-4 and won eight games in the Pac-12 last season, losing to Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game. Michigan State finished 13-1, with a perfect 8-0 mark in the Big Ten, and topped Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
"We continue to be aggressive in our approach to non-conference scheduling, as we seek to bring the top programs in college football to our state," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said in a separate release. "The Arizona State series provides MSU Alums in the West and Southwest with an opportunity to see the Spartans compete against one of the Pac-12's top football programs."STAPLES: College football's great scheduling debate is all about incentive