Know Your Enemy: Michigan State Has Home Opener Date With Youngstown State

Youngstown State (1-0) travels to East Lansing to take on Michigan State (1-0) in the Spartans home opener.
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Michigan State fans are eager to get back into Spartan Stadium. The Spartans haven't taken the field in front of fans at Spartan Stadium since November 30, 2019. Youngstown State enters the game 1-0 after a thrilling 44-41 overtime victory over Incarnate Word (UIW) last week.

Youngstown State has a little bit of a unique situation as an FCS team, they had a spring season where they played in seven games going 1-6 in those games earlier this year.

Team Strength

Run Game

Ironically, Youngstown had one of the most impressive rushing performances in school history last week as well. Jaleel McLaughlin ran for 242 yards and two touchdowns last week for the Penguins which ended up finishing 7th for a single-game performance in school history. The Penguins ended up finishing with 351 yards as a team.

Team Weakness

Back Seven

Last week, Cameron Ward of UIW threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns on 28-47 passing. UIW had four receivers with 70 or more yards including three for 30 or more. FCS programs usually have an athlete disadvantage especially in the secondary. Payton Thorne didn't have a great game throwing the ball, but it wasn't bad. Thorne was 15-25 for 185 yards and a touchdown last week against Northwestern.

Three Players To Know

RB Jaleel McLaughlin

McLaughlin ran for 697 yards in the spring season and had five touchdowns for the Penguins in just seven games. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and 99.6 yards per game on the ground. McLaughlin was a second team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection during the spring season.

QB Demeatric Crenshaw

The Redshirt-Freshman's passing stats weren't off the wall but they were enough last week in the debut for the starting quarterback. Crenshaw was 9-for-12 passing for 112 yards and a touchdown. Crenshaw also rushed for 80 yards on 20 carries and two more touchdowns.

TB Christian Turner

Turner has been a "jack-of-all-trades" in his time at Youngstown State. Turner may not be the featured back running the ball for the Penguins behind McLaughlin but he also has a niche catching passes out of the back field. Turner amassed 1,000 yards rushing in his career last week with a 28 yard performance. Turner has also caught 78 passes for 634 yards while at Youngstown State.

Game Overview/Prediction

Michigan State heads into the game looking to replicate another big performance similar to the Northwestern game. The Spartans will need to try and contain the rushing attack of the Penguins while hoping to get another solid offensive showing. Spartan Stadium will be rocking again with fans eager to see the Spartans in game action again.

Michigan State 44, Youngstown State 17