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Michigan State Football: Date of season-opener moved up

MSU will be back sooner than we thought.

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© Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State football made a major announcement for next season regarding the schedule. We are even closer to the start of a new season.

On April 24, we got two days closer to seeing Michigan State football.

Not only does each passing day mark one more day until the Spartans are back in action, but Michigan State football Twitter officially announced that the inaugural game of the season would be moved up.

The Spartans will now play host to the Central Michigan Chippewas on Friday, Sept. 1. The official time and network is yet to be announced, but it is expected to be a night kickoff, presumably in the 7-8:30 p.m. ET range. 

This will be head coach Mel Tucker’s third consecutive Friday night game to start the season for the Spartans. He is 2-0 in the two prior games, those being at Northwestern in 2021 and against the Chippewas’ regional rival, the Western Michigan Broncos, last season. It will be his first game against the Chippewas. Against in-state schools, Mel Tucker is 3-2 as a head coach, and 2-1 as head coach of the Spartans. 

As for Michigan State football, it will be the Spartans’ first meeting against the Chippewas since 2018, where the Spartans handily won 31-20. Seventeen of the Chippewa points came in the fourth quarter as the Spartans backups received playing time. Current Spartan graduate assistant Antjuan Simmons recorded four tackles, one of which was solo, in that game. 

Last season in review for each team

The Chippewas are coming off a 4-8 campaign, going 3-5 in conference play. Their schedule included losses to both of the other FBS directional Michigan schools (Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan) and a loss to Penn State. They went 2-4 on the road.

The Spartans, as we all know, are looking to rebound from a 5-7 campaign. They went 3-6 against the Big Ten, and were 4-3 at home last season. The Spartans split their games against in-state schools last year, losing to Michigan but beating the Western Michigan Broncos. 

As for common opponents, MSU and CMU beat Akron, and both lost by 19 points to Penn State. CMU beat Akron by a touchdown, while the Spartans won by an astounding 52 points. The Spartans won against Western Michigan, while the Chippewas lost by two points in a snow filled game.

A way too early prediction?

After last year, it would be bold to predict anything, but I predict an easy victory in a tune-up game for the Spartans. The real challenge comes a few weeks later against the Washington Huskies. MSU wins, 35-10.

Michigan State Media and Information Management Class of '22. Emmett covers primarily football, recruiting, and basketball for Spartan Shadows. He has also written for Spartan Avenue, Basic Blues, and Hail WV.

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