The Spartans had a renaissance season in year two of the Mel Tucker era. Michigan State handed Michigan their only Big Ten loss and took down Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl. The Spartans lose running back Kenneth Walker III (1,636 yards) and wide receiver Jalen Nailor (695 yards) to the NFL, but Tucker has done a fantastic job recruiting and filling holes from the portal.
Going into the year they have +2500 college football odds of winning the Big Ten.
The Spartans schedule steps up in difficulty a little bit this season with trips to Washington, Michigan, and Penn State and a draw of Wisconsin at home from the West. After losing all their specialists, plus an elite running back and a productive wide receiver, 2021 will be a tough act to follow.
Preseason media poll for Big Ten football is out.
1. Wisconsin (31 first-place votes)
2. Iowa (3)
3. Minnesota (2)
1. Ohio State (36)
3. Penn State
4. Michigan State
— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) July 25, 2022
Here is a look at Michigan State’s 2022 schedule with dates, times, opponents, and analysis:
Week 1 – vs. Western Michigan Broncos
Date: September 2
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
These two programs first met in 1908. MSU leads the series 14-2, with the last game coming in 2019. The Broncos are picked to be a mediocre MAC foe. This game should be an excellent way to find a replacement for the production lost from 2021.
Week 2 – vs. Akron Zips
Date: September 10
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Another MAC opponent comes to Spartan Stadium in the Akron Zips. These two teams haven’t played since 1914. The Zips are breaking in a new coach, and MSU will not be a welcoming committee.
Week 3 – at Washington Huskies
Date: September 17
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
A rare regular-season trip out west gives the Spartans their first real test. The last meeting between these two came in the 1997 Aloha Bowl (UW leads the series 2-1). Even though the Huskies are coming off a 4-8 season and are breaking in a new coach, they have some talent. This matchup could be a good candidate for Game of the Week.
Week 4 – vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Date: September 24
The Spartans open up conference play at home against West division foe Minnesota. The Spartans own a five-game win streak in the series, but it’s their first matchup since 2017. The game screams “battle in the trenches.” If you love Big Ten football, this one is for you.
Week 5 – at Maryland Terrapins
Date: October 1
Michigan State dispatched Maryland 40-21 last season. If Michigan State’s offense is as good as 2021, this game should yield similar results.
Week 6 – vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Date: October 8
The Spartans were given a dose of reality by the Buckeyes last season as OSU won 56-7. Is Ohio State still 39 points better than Michigan State? The Spartans want to end their losing streak to the Buckeyes, and home field should be a lift, but OSU could be too good again.
Week 7 – vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Date: October 15
It’s hard to believe these two have played just twice since 2012, but that’s life in the Big Ten now. Sparty has lost the last two games by a combined score of 68-6. This year’s contest should be closer than that.
Week 8 – BYE
Week 9 – at Michigan Wolverines
Date: October 29
The Spartans usually play their best when being counted out against Michigan. They have won the last two games. Going to the Big House with Michigan wanting to end that streak will be an uphill battle, but that’s when MSU is the most dangerous in the series.
Week 10 – at Illinois Fighting Illini
Date: November 5
The Spartans are on a two-game losing streak in the series. The Illini had some November magic last year, and this is a classic letdown game. Likely an 11 a.m. local kickoff, plus coming off the Michigan game usually equals a sleepy performance.
Week 11 – vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Date: November 12
The last time Michigan State walked off their home field against Rutgers was a disappointing 38-17 loss. MSU bounced back to beat the Scarlet Knights on the road last year. This game should be another Spartans win unless they turn the ball over seven times again.
Week 12 – vs. Indiana Hoosiers
Date: November 19
The Old Brass Spittoon was reclaimed by MSU last season, and before 2020, their last loss at home in this series was in 2001. This game has been a real battle of late, and playing IU annually has brought some attention to the trophy game.
Week 13 – at Penn State Nittany Lions
Date: November 26
The Spartans end the regular season on the road for the Land Grant Trophy game against Penn State. MSU has won six of the last nine in the series but did end a two-game skid last year. It should be another close rivalry game for these two, maybe in the snow again.
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