Photo by Mike Carter / USA Today
Oregon Football

First Look: Michigan State

December 3, 2018

Oregon fans were surprised and perhaps a bit intrigued by Sunday’s bowl game announcement. The Ducks were dropped into the Redbox bowl after many expecting a Holiday bowl berth.

In any event it remains a New Year’s Eve game taking place out West. Which is huge for recruiting purposes for Oregon. Keeping the weekends open in December for officials is a big win as we experienced last season with the Vegas bowl berth.

But let’s not revisit that game.

On Dec. 31 Oregon will travel to Santa Clara to take on Michigan State in the Redbox bowl in Levi’s stadium. It will also air on Fox sports.

We will have plenty of breakdowns from a number of angles. Today we will keep it simple. For starters we will take a look at Michigan State’s 7-5 record from this season.

8.31 Utah State 38-31 W

9.8 @ ASU 13-16 L

9.22 @Indiana 35-21 W

9.29 Central Mich. 31-20 W

10.6 (22) Northwestern 29-19 L

10.13 (12) @ Penn State 21-17 L

10.20 7 Michigan 21-7 L

10.27 Purdue 23-13 W

11.3 @ Maryland 24-3 L

11.10 (6) Ohio State 26-6 L

11.17 @ Nebraska 6-9 L

11.24 Rutgers 14-10 W

It would seem from the dates and opponents Michigan State very much had an up and down season. For starters they scored a season high 38 points in the opener. After that they never scored that many points again. They only scored 30 points or more twice again and they both came within the first four weeks of the season.

The Spartans faced three ranked opponents this season in Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State. They only beat one of those ranked opponents in Penn State with a 21-17 win.

They went 3-2 on the road this season. So the road was clearly not the hurdle it was for Oregon. 

The last three games were very unkind to Michigan State. A 26-6 loss in Columbus was the catalyst to a tough ending. Michigan State hit the road the next week and suffered a tough 9-6 loss in Nebraska. Michigan State finished the season with a 14-10 over Rutgers. 

There is only one common opponent for Oregon and Michigan State. The Sun Devils played and lost to both this season. Oregon won a tight one, 31-29. ASU meanwhile lost 16-13 at Arizona in week 2. 

The Spartans most impressive win was the week 6 upset over Penn State. The worst loss came towards the end of the season with a 9-6 stinker against Nebraska 2 weeks ago.

Both teams appear relatively healthy headed into a New Year’s Eve day clash in Santa Clara. Oregon looking for its 9th win, Michigna State hoping for its 8th win.


Tags: Football, Oregon
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