Michigan State Football: Big Ten Preview

McLain Moberg

No one could have foreseen the cancellation of spring practice and their annual spring game.

Now, Michigan State's head football coach Mel Tucker and his coaching staff face a difficult task in 2020. Tucker brought in multiple new coaches outside of a few assistants he elected to keep from the Dantonio era to help him usher in a new one.

Recently, the NCAA approved a six-week practice plan that will allow the season to start on time. It will begin with voluntary summer workouts in July and transition into a prototypical fall camp ahead of kickoff.

But will it be enough for a coaching staff who hasn't had much time to implement new schemes on both sides of the ball?

According to Athlon Sports, Michigan State will finish fifth overall in the Big Ten East Division.

"Junior Rocky Lombardi, redshirt freshman Payton Thorne or sophomore Theo Day are set to battle for the job under center, and the winner of this competition will be tasked with jumpstarting an offense that managed only seven passing plays longer than 40 yards over the last two years. Cody White and Darrell Stewart will be missed at receiver, but Western Michigan transfer Jayden Reed and sophomore Jalen Nailor are a good starting point. Running back, Elijah Collins needs more help up front, but he is one of the bright spots on offense. Defense hasn't been a problem in East Lansing the last couple of seasons, and Tucker's background, along with the hire of coordinator Scottie Hazelton, should keep this unit performing at a high level. Only three starters are back, so there's plenty of uncertainty on the depth chart for 2020. The schedule features non-conference matchups against BYU and Miami, and the Spartans have to play at Iowa and host Minnesota in crossover action with the West."

Big Ten Season Preview

Photo courtesy of Matt Cironi

2020 Season Prediction: 6-6 (4-5 Big Ten)

· Sept. 5 Northwestern: Win

· Sept. 12 @ BYU: Loss

· Sept. 19 Toledo: Win

· Sept. 26 Miami: Win

· Oct. 3 @ Iowa: Loss

· Oct. 10 Michigan: Loss

· Oct. 17 Ohio State: Loss

· Oct. 24 @ Indiana: Loss

· Oct. 31 Minnesota: Win

· Nov. 14 @ Penn State: Loss

· Nov. 21 Rutgers: Win

· Nov. 28 @ Maryland: Win

If Michigan State finishes this season with a 6-6 record, becomes bowl eligible, and wins said bowl, then Mel Tucker's first year as head coach will be a success.

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