- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

No. 4 Michigan State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at Rutgers (2-2, 0-1), 8:30 p.m. (BTN)

Line: Michigan State by 17

Series Record: series tied 3-3

WHAT’S AT STAKE

This is a chance for Michigan State to bounce back from a so-so effort in a win over Purdue, a performance that caused them to drop two spots in the poll. For Rutgers, this could be a season saver after a plethora of problems, highlighted by the suspension of coach Kyle Flood for three games for trying to influence a player’s grade and the dismissal of six players following arrests.



KEY MATCHUP

Rutgers offensive line against the Spartans’ defense. The only way the Scarlet Knights win is if they can have a balanced attack and let quarterback Chris Laviano choose when to throw. Rutgers is averaging 211 yards rushing. The problem is when they pass. Michigan State can put the heat on. It has recorded 18 sacks. Spartans defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun could have a big day if the Spartans limit Rutgers on the ground.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan State: RB LJ Scott had career highs for carries (18), rushing yards (146) and rushing touchdowns (2) in 24-21 win over Purdue on Saturday. It was his first career 100-yard rushing game. The 146 rushing yards were the most by a Spartan freshman since Javon Ringer had 194 in 2005. Scott has now been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice.

Rutgers: WR Leonte Carroo. He was reinstated on Wednesday after simple assault charges were dropped for an incident outside the stadium after a loss to Washington State. He has missed the last two games and could be looking to prove something. Despite missing 10 of 16 quarters this season because of suspension, he is tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches.

FACTS & FIGURES

The last time the teams met at Rutgers Stadium, the Scarlet Knights won 19-14 in 2004. … Michigan State is playing on the road for the first time since the season opener at Western Michigan on Sept. 4. … Rutgers has two wins against Top 10 opponents, a 28-25 victory over No. 3 Louisville in 2006 and a 30-27 victory over No. 2 South Florida in 2007. Both games were at home. … Fifth-year senior quarterback Connor Cook earned his 28th career win with the victory over Purdue, making him the winningest starting quarterback at Michigan State, replacing Kirk Cousins. … Rutgers is averaging 33:43 in time of possession. … Michigan State had its school-record 12-game, 30-point scoring streak snapped against Purdue. The Spartans have scored at least 24 points in 20 consecutive games.

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