East Lansing, MI - Big Ten football officially kicks off this weekend, and with it comes a sense of normalcy among a global pandemic and the season being postponed in early August.
The Spartans, along with every other team in the conference, won't have student sections or sold-out stadiums.
More than that, Michigan State won't have its marching band, cheerleaders, Zeke the Wonderdog, or Sparty himself.
It bodes asking the question, does home-field advantage exist within the Big Ten this year?
"Spartan Stadium is special," MSU head coach Mel Tucker said. "Even though we won't have our fans in the stadium, their passion, energy, desire, and pride in this football team and university – we're going to feel that on Saturday."
However, without fans (other than players' family members) creating their own energy rather than feeding off the home crowd becomes a focal point.
MSU won't have any issue with that.
"We're going to take it from the practice field to the game field. We have tremendous energy in our practices. We generate our own momentum, and everyone is into it. Everyone is up and ready to go," said Tucker. "Chinstraps buckled, mouthpieces in and on the ready when these guys' numbers are called."
Redshirt senior Matt Allen is more focused on his opponent but thinks if Michigan State brings energy to the table, players will feed off one another, helping them in the long run.
"That would be a very good thing for us and will help us move forward through the season," Allen told reporters Tuesday night. "For the fans, unfortunately, they can't be there right now. I know a lot of the guys are bummed that they are not going to be able to run out in front of all of Spartan Stadium. But I'm just focused on Rutgers."
Antjuan Simmons, a 6-foot-0, 225-pound linebacker and leader for the Michigan State defense, chose to approach the 2020 college football season with the same mindset he always does.
"It's just going to be another game ... it's football. I'm not looking at it as any different than any other game I've ever played in," said Simmons. "The only difference is there are just no fans ... it definitely be new, but it'll be good for us."
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