Michigan State beats Northwestern for first win in 2021 season, 38-21: Game thread recap

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Michigan State coach Mel Tucker, center, runs onto the field flanked by right guard Kevin Jarvis (75) and center Matt Allen (64) before the Spartans' 38-21 win Friday at Northwestern.
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WHAT A START!: Michigan State scores a touchdown on the very first play of the season

Michigan State Spartans vs. Northwestern Wildcats

When: 9 p.m. Friday.

Where: Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois,

TV/radio: ESPN, WJR-AM (760).

Line: Northwestern by 3½.

Box score

SOLARI: Why Mel Tucker's Michigan State team could be a blast — or just implode

Game notes: A rare season opener with a Big Ten game. MSU went 2-4 last year in coach Mel Tucker's first season, including an upset of No. 13 Northwestern at Spartan Stadium in late November, 29-20. The Wildcats finished 7-2, with a 35-19 Citrus Bowl win over Auburn. ... MSU was picked to finish last in the Big Ten East Division by the media this season; Northwestern was picked fourth in the West.

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Follow along for instant live updates, reaction and analysis during the game:

THE BREAKDOWN: Michigan State at Northwestern scouting report, prediction

MIND GAMES: Mystery part of Mel Tucker's plan for Michigan State football

MSU BOLD PREDICTIONS: Mel Tucker's 2nd team will look like Mark Dantonio's

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State defeats Northwestern, 38-21: Game thread recap