Michigan State 2021 Calendar Rank: # 11 Western Kentucky
If you haven’t caught that new streak earlier in the week, you get a pass with a brief explanation again here before you don’t have a chance to move forward. With both the practice of spring and the 2021 NFL Draft having come and gone, it’s time for college football fans to turn their full attention to the 2021 season. With that in mind, as well as the vaccination efforts that make it seem likely that a full 12-game schedule will have take place in 2021 (hopefully), I’m going to look ahead over the next couple of months and rank. Michigan StateThis season’s opponents come from easiest (No. 12) to most difficult (No. 1). Today, this is the game I consider the second easiest: Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are coming to East Lansing for MSU’s comeback this fall.
2020 Record: 5-7 (4-3)
The Hilltoppers, led by head coach Tyson Helton, have had a tough 2020 season at Conference USA. Western Kentucky started the campaign with a 35-21 loss to Louisville and ended it with a 39-21 loss in the Lending Tree Bowl to Georgia State. Among the other seven losses of the season is the management of just 10 points against BYU in a 41-10 trip to Provo. The program’s only win over a record-winning team was a 13-10 home win in October over Chattanooga (the Mocs, an FCS team, ended the 2020-21 season 3-2 overall, this which included games in the spring). WKU’s other four victories during the season have all been won by teams who also finished with an overall record of defeat.
Series history: None
This will be the first meeting between the two football programs. The Spartans and Hilltoppers have never met before, and MSU has only faced five teams from the current Conference USA roster.
The Spartans are 6-1 all-time against Conference USA teams with the only loss to Louisiana Tech in a 20-19 loss in 2003. The Hilltoppers will mark the sixth team to make the list . Michigan State will also face Florida Atlantic, another Conference USA opponent, in 2024. MSU is 3-0 against the Owls.
Offensive outlook 2021
The man below the center might still be somewhat familiar to Spartan fans if he returns from the transfer portal. Maryland graduate transfer Tyrell Pigrome left the Terps last spring and landed in Bowling Green, Ky. To play for the Hilltoppers. He played 11 games last season, totaling 1,615 yards on 297 attempts. Pigrome completed 57.6% of his passes and averaged 5.4 yards per pass. He also ran 325 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns.
Pigrome is still on the list at the time of publication, but also re-entered the portal at the end of March after the Hilltoppers brought in offensive coordinator Zach Kittley from Houston Baptist. Kittley brought quarterback Bailey Zappe and receivers Jerreth Sterns, Josh Sterns and Ben Ratzlaff through the transfer portal with him to Bowling Green. Zappe completed 141 of 215 passes in 2020 for 1,833 yards, while throwing 15 touchdowns and a single interception. With Pigrome, Zappe, Louisville transferring Drew Zaubi and 2021 new signatory Chance McDonald to the post, the roster would include six quarterbacks if Pigrome stayed.
The Hilltoppers will also be back for the second lead runner from last season (not counting Pigrome), running back Jakairi Moses who had 60 rushing attempts for 319 total yards and nine catches for 38 yards.
The offense averaged 291 yards per game last season and totaled 27 touchdowns. The offense was relatively balanced with 165.3 yards in the air and 125.7 yards rushing per game. The unit averages 40.1 penalty yards per game.
Defensive outlook 2021
The defense lost its main tackle, defensive back Devon Key, who had 88 tackles (51 solo and 37 assist) last season and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs. Last season’s third tackle Kyle Bailey, who isn’t on the depth chart this spring after totaling 76 tackles (41 overall and 35 assists) in 2020 as a linebacker, also went to the transfer portal. . However, WKU is returning defensive back Antwon Kincade for a fifth year after finishing second on the team with 86 total tackles (49 solo and 37 assist).
Overall, the unit as a whole has surrendered 25.33 points per game, with 177.3 yards per pass (averaged 6.35 yards per pass) and 171.4 rushing yards per game (4.2 yards per average stroke).
Why n ° 12?
The Hilltoppers have only had one winning season since 2017. Western Kentucky also comes into this game after games against the Army and Indiana (with a week off between these two opponents). While the roster is more talented than Youngstown State, this is another game that is the definition of a buying game opponent and one that the Spartans will need to deal with to stand a chance in the bowling season. . Thankfully, the State of Michigan should have no problem with this one sandwiched between a home game against Nebraska and a road trip to Rutgers.
This game should end at half time and provide repetitions for some of the second string players in the second half. MSU should win by a few touchdowns margin, although the defense gets a little too relaxed in the fourth quarter and allows the Hilltoppers’ offense to score.