Michigan State kicked off the 2021 season with an impressive victory over conference foe Northwestern. But now, the focus shifts to their first non-conference opponent: Youngstown State.
The Penguins, who hail from the Missouri Valley Football Conference of the FCS level, will travel to Spartan Stadium for their third ever battle against the Spartans. Here’s a quick breakdown of Youngstown State and what you need to know heading into this match-up:
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Game Time: 12 p.m. EDT Location: Spartan Stadium (East Lansing, Mich.) TV: Big Ten Network Series History: Michigan State leads 2-0
Record & Rankings
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Record: 1-0 (0-0 in Missouri Valley Football Conference) Last Game: Win, 44-41 in OT, vs. Incarnate Word on Sept. 2
USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll: Unranked
ESPN FPI Ranking: N/A
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Passing Yards: Freshman QB Demeatric Crenshaw (112 yards per game) Rushing Yards: Senior RB Jaleel McLaughlin (242 yards per game) Receiving Yards: McLaughlin (46 yards per game) Touchdowns: Crenshaw (two rushing and one passing)
Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader
I didn't get a chance to watch Youngstown State play in their season-opener this past weekend, but based on the box score it's evident they are a rush first attack. Youngstown State posted solid offensive numbers in their opener and was led offensively by senior running back Jaleel McLaughlin -- who racked up 288 total yards in the season-opening win. The Penguins' defense was a different story, however, which was exposed in the passing game in giving up 352 passing yards to Incarnate Word. Youngstown State was picked to finish near the bottom of the Missouri Valley Football Conference in the league's preseason poll, and the Spartans are expected to win this game with ease. Depending on the sportsbook, Michigan State is favored by roughly three touchdowns in this match-up.