Bob Wojnowski, John Niyo and Matt Charboneau preview the opening games of the college football season: Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee and Michigan State vs. Tulsa. The Detroit News
Matt Charboneau, Angelique S. Chengelis, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Friday’s Michigan State vs. Tulsa game at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing (7 p.m., FS1/760).
Matt Charboneau: All eyes will be on Michigan State’s offense as it opens the season with a reshuffled coaching staff and a relatively healthy group of players. How much things have changed will likely be answered against a Tulsa team that will be struggling to become bowl-eligible. It should be the perfect setup for the offense to find its legs while the Spartans defense simply starts warming up against an opponent that it should simply overwhelm. Michigan State 34, Tulsa 10
Angelique S. Chengelis: There seem to be so many questions about the Spartans offense, but those are lingering from last year's injury-riddled season. Quarterback Brian Lewerke is healthy and will return to his 2017 form. Receivers are back and healthy and it will be a matter of getting the rust off and getting in sync. There seems to be some mystery to the offense heading into this season, but don't expect MSU to depart from its pro-style, power run game. Sounds like there could be some wrinkles, though. MSU’s defense will give Tulsa fits, as it will every team it faces this season, but the focus will be on the offense and the Spartans will show how sound it is. Michigan State 35, Tulsa 3
John Niyo: Michigan State's new-look offense probably won't look dramatically different in its debut. Especially lining up against a Tulsa defense that couldn't stop the run or get off the field last season. This opener should give the Spartans a chance to establish a ground game that was nonexistent a year ago. Michigan State 38, Tulsa 14
Bob Wojnowski: The opener has been tricky for the Spartans lately, and this could be too. Tulsa is 5-19 the past two seasons but has been competitive and has a seasoned defense with nine returning starters. The Golden Hurricane also has a good pair of running backs. Of course, Michigan State’s defense is built to stuff the run, and if Tulsa has to air it out with an unproven quarterback, good luck. Brian Lewerke and the revamped offense won’t roll right away, but they’ll be in control most of the way. Michigan State 30, Tulsa 9