Michigan State has been beyond impressive through two weeks but things are about to go up a notch this weekend. Winning on the road at Northwestern was a solid start to the season and manhandling Youngstown State in East Lansing was expected. Now, the Spartans will head down to The Sunshine State to take on No. 24 Miami.
The Canes got pummeled by Alabama in their season opener and eked out a win over Appalachian State last week by a score of 25-23. Michigan State is riding high, while the Hurricanes may be second guessing themselves a little bit. Couple that with the fact that MSU's strengths — running the ball and playing defense — typically travel pretty well, and you have the makings of an upset.
It's also promising that Michigan State seems to be multifaceted. Kenneth Walker III exploded for 264 yards and four touchdowns against Northwestern and then Jordan Simmons got loose against Youngstown State rushing for 121 yards on 16 carries. MSU quarterback Payton Thorne also went off last week. He chucked a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game against Youngstown and did not look back. He finished the day 15-of-21 for 280 yards and four scores.
On the flip side, Miami is currently sitting at No. 69 in the country when it comes to stopping the run and No. 110 in the country when it comes to total offense. Granted, Miami did face Alabama in week one, but some of the issues from the opener were present last week against Appalachian State.
Playing in Miami is certainly going to be different than playing in Evanston, but Michigan State should be able to find success. Will it be enough to defeat the Hurricanes as a 6.5-point underdog? We'll see on Saturday at noon.