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Michigan State Football: Series history vs. Central Michigan

The Spartans have stumbled before.



Michigan State football
© Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State football has had some hiccups against Central Michigan in the past, but what does the series history look like?

Can you believe it? We are officially one day away from Michigan State football finally being back.

It’s been a long offseason and one that’s raised a lot of questions about our team. We have a lot of uncertainties going into this season and I am excited to see what the Spartans look like on Friday night.

The Spartans welcome in-state foe Central Michigan to The Woodshed on Friday night at 7 p.m. ET. The Spartans should have the edge in this game, but we all know that crazier things have happened.

Before the game tomorrow, let’s take a look at the series history between the Spartans and Chippewas.

All-time series history

Michigan State holds the advantage in this series 8-3. To be honest with you, that isn’t as dominant as I expected. Whenever we schedule Central, it is a game we expect to win, so seeing we’ve lost three times out of the 11 games is disheartening.

On the bright side, we are on a four-game winning streak against the Chippewas. The last meeting came in 2018 that resulted in a 31-20 win in East Lansing. During this four game streak, the Spartans have won by an average of nearly 26 points. That hopefully means good news for us as we have been fairly dominant in this matchup since the last time we lost in 2009.

Chippewa upsets

I’m sure you all remember the infamous meeting with Central in 2009. After a late onside kick by Central, it went on to stun the Spartans in East Lansing 29-27. This unfortunately is not the only time Central has pulled off the miraculous upset in this series. Central surprisingly won the first two meetings in this series in 1991 and 1992. Both games were in East Lansing and they won by 17 and four points, respectively.

Central has become a team that is known nationally for pulling off these upsets. In 2016, Central traveled to Oklahoma State and beat the 22nd-ranked team, 30-27, on a last-second Hail Mary play with a lateral for good measure. If you haven’t seen that play, I highly recommend looking it up.

What does Michigan State have on its side?

For starters, the game is in Spartan Stadium which is always a good thing. It’s extremely difficult for an overmatched team like Central to come into a big stadium and pull off the upset. Having Spartan Nation loud and rowdy in the event of a close game will help immensely.

We are also pretty heavy favorites in this game as well. Vegas has us favored to win by about 14 points depending on where you look. That may not be as wide of a spread as we would hope against Central, but being favored by 14 is still pretty telling.

Lastly, it has been awhile since we have lost a Friday night home opener, too. Michigan State is 10-0 in its last 10 Friday night home openers which could mean good news tomorrow night. We also have not lost our first home game against a non-conference opponent since 1998. Yet another trend that is very favorable for the Spartans.

It no doubt is in the realm of possibility for Central Michigan to win this game tomorrow. I think it is very unlikely, but they have beaten us and others before and can definitely do it again. This Michigan State team also has a lot of questions that need to be answered as well. A 5-7 team that lost its quarterback and star receiver as well as a secondary that has struggled mightily the last two seasons are not good for this matchup.

Michigan State, however, should win this game and extend its winning streak against the Chippewas to five games.