- Associated Press - Thursday, September 3, 2015

No. 5 Michigan State (11-2 in 2014) at Western Michigan (8-5 in 2014), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

Line: Michigan State by 17 1/2

Series Record: Michigan State leads 11-2

WHAT’S AT STAKE:

Michigan State enters the season with its highest preseason ranking since 1967 and would stunt its season with a loss, a week before playing No. 7 Oregon at home. Western Michigan is hosting arguably the biggest event on campus ever and has a shot to pull off the biggest upset in the school’s athletic history.



KEY MATCHUP

Michigan State will want to establish its running game with up to four players who haven’t played much if at all: Madre London, Gerald Holmes, LJ Scot and Delton Williams. The Spartans are starting a lot of experienced offensive linemen, led by fifth-year senior Jack Allen, and they outweigh the Broncos’ defensive line by an average of 41 pounds each.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan State: London. After a highly competitive preseason, the 6-foot-1, 216-pound redshirt freshman earned the top spot on the depth chart. London will not be asked to replace Jeremy Langford by himself, but he will get the first chance to show what he can do.

Western Michigan: RB Jarvion Franklin. He ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns last year in a shootout loss at Purdue. Franklin, who averaged 119.5 yards rushing against programs from the Power Five conferences, is the only one from the Mid-American Conference on the Walter Camp Player of the Year watch list.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio is entering his ninth seasons in charge of a program, which is enjoying its best years since the mid-1960s. … WMU coach P.J. Fleck is among the mid-major coaches to watch this season after being named MAC Coach of the Year for leading a seven-win improvement over the previous year, the nation’s biggest turnaround. … The Spartans are playing 65 miles away from their campus as part of the school’s efforts to boost the economy for MAC-affiliated communities in the state.

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