- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

EASTERN MICHIGAN (1-2) at No. 11 MICHIGAN STATE (1-1), 12 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)

Line: Michigan State by 45 1/2

Series Record: Michigan State leads 9-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The Spartans are coming off a 46-27 loss to Oregon - a credible performance, but a loss that leaves Michigan State with plenty to prove. It’s not clear how much the Spartans can accomplish by beating Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are in their first season under coach Chris Creighton, and they lost to Florida 65-0 on the same day Michigan State played Oregon.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan State against rust. It’s hard to imagine this game being all that close if the Spartans play to their potential, but after the loss to Oregon, they had a weekend off. Now they’ll face what appears to be an overmatched EMU team, and the challenge will be to avoid taking the Eagles lightly.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Eastern Michigan: Tyreese Russell was named to the watch list for the John Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s top TE. He leads the Eagles in yards receiving this year, although he only has 71 on nine catches.

Michigan State: QB Connor Cook threw for a career-high 343 yards in the loss to Oregon, and he’s a major reason why the Spartans look so much better offensively than they did at this point last season.

FACTS & FIGURES

EMU is 0-37 against current members of the Big Ten. … Michigan State WR Tony Lippett already has 15 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns this season. … EMU is averaging 2.9 yards per pass attempt. … The Spartans have won the last six meetings in this series by a combined 271-51.

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