East Lansing, MI – How Mel Tucker and the Michigan State Spartans handle playing against rival Michigan this weekend will set the tone for the entire season.
Naturally, critical things have been said about Tucker and MSU following Rutgers' loss, and rightfully so.
Nothing anyone saw last weekend leads them to believe the Spartans have a chance of defeating the Wolverines.
However, a solid performance on the road, signs of progression, and a respectable score can land Tucker back in the good graces of MSU fans.
It won't come easy, seeing as how Michigan State is a 25-point underdog.
A figure new starting quarterback Rocky Lombardi disagreed with.
"Seems to be a little bit of a stretch for me," the redshirt junior told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "I don't even really look at that stuff, honestly ... If we can take it one play at a time and execute each play the way we're supposed to, we'll go out there and have a productive day. And hopefully, we'll win the game.
"So really, it doesn't matter what the odds are. It matters, can we execute every play to the best of our abilities, and can we keep moving the ball forward?"
He's right; when it comes to this game, the odds don't matter.
For one week, nothing else matters.
The brutal loss to Rutgers,' the low expectations, the seven turnovers, it all goes out the window for one common goal.
Walk out of Ann Arbor with a win.
"It means more to us than other games because we're in-state. It's for the pride of the state; it's for the pride of the university," said Lombardi.
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