WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

September 04, 2018 at 9:14 pm.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

–QB Brian Lewerke had some decent numbers in the opener, throwing for 287 yards and a pair of touchdowns, however, he did have an interception returned for a touchdown and lost a fumble. He’ll need to be much more efficient heading back home. The Phoenix native will be playing with plenty of family and friends in the stands as Michigan State looks to cut down on some of the mistakes it made in the opener. If Lewerke leads the way and keeps from turning the ball over, it could be a big night for the Spartans.

–WR Felton Davis only had three catches in the opener, but all them were big ones. His first-half touchdown grab was with a defender draped on him in the corner of the end zone, and his 31-yarder on the game-winning drive took a late adjustment as the ball was thrown behind him down the sidelines. His reception on the two-point conversion late in the game doesn’t go down as an official catch, but it was as impressive as the others for the senior who is establishing himself as one of the top big-play receivers in the country.

–LB Joe Bachie has been the heart of Michigan State’s defense dating back to last season, and with the game on the line against Utah State, the junior made the biggest play of the game when he tipped a pass in the air and came down with the interception. He had a team-high 11 tackles and will once again be the quarterback for a defense that will need to hit the road and contain an Arizona State offense that had 49 points and 503 yards in Week 1.

–DE Kenny Willekes had a breakout season in 2017 as a sophomore and picked up where he left off by recording Michigan State’s only two sacks against Utah State. The Spartans have had trouble getting consistent pressure on the quarterback but Willekes has been the lone standout in the category. In addition to his two sacks in the opener, he had three quarterback hurries and forced a fumble.

SERIES HISTORY: Michigan State and Arizona State are tied, 1-1. Arizona State won the last meeting, 20-17, in 1986.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We’ll always take a win. You want to pound somebody 50 to nothing, that’s not happening too often. It certainly hasn’t happened here in my time. We’re just eking, just trying to find those inches.” — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio

 

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