Michigan State Spartans Look To Bounce Back Against Eastern Michigan


The Michigan State Spartans athletic department announced earlier this week that 61,931 season-ticket packages have been sold for the 2014 season, making it the second-highest total in the school’s history, behind the 2012 season in which 63,831 were sold.

There’s no question that more-and-more Spartan fans flock to East Lansing because of the product that head coach Mark Dantonio has put out on the field every weekend.

So what type of team will run out of the tunnel in the north endzone at Spartan Stadium this Saturday? Most likely a team that’s looking to exact vengeance from their week two defeat against No. 2 Oregon Ducks.

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Fresh off of a bye week, The No. 11 Michigan State Spartans (1-1 overall) will take on the Mid-American Conference bottom feeder, Eastern Michigan Eagles at home. This will be their second to last non-conference opponent on the schedule before No. 24 Nebraska comes to town to open up Big Ten play.

The last time these two teams faced off was on Sept. 22, 2012, when the Michigan State Spartans walked away with a 23-7 victory at home. However, the Eagles almost pulled off the upset when they headed back to the locker room at halftime leading 7-3.

But it shouldn’t be a surprise that Michigan State is coming into this game as a 45.5 point favorite over their in-state foe, considering that Eastern Michigan is now 1-2 following back-to-back road loses to Florida and Old Dominion.

Led by first-year head coach Chris Creighton, the Eagles are ranked 116th in rush defense and 86th in passing defense. Due to the fact that Creighton’s defense is prone to giving up an abundance of points on the board, as well as big plays through the air and on the ground, quarterback Connor Cook shouldn’t have a problem picking apart Eastern Michigan for four quarters.

Offensively, the Eagles don’t poise a threat against the Big Ten powerhouse that’s ranked 2nd in rush defense and 3rd in passing defense. This season, Eastern Michigan has only scored 31 points, that includes 28 during week one against Morgan State.

Senior transfer Rob Bolden will likely get the start at quarterback for Eastern Michigan on Saturday. He received quite a bit of playing time last week at Old Dominion when he helped the Eagles record their first scoring drive in the third quarter.

This will be Bolden’s first start at quarterback since transferring from LSU to Ypsilanti. The redshirt senior originally committed to Penn State before deciding to transfer to the Tigers following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal in 2012.

Eastern Michigan is currently 0-9 against Michigan State, which dates back to 1898 when they first began the rivalry. The Spartans have also won 28 of the last 31 games against MAC opponents.

"“Massive respect for a (Michigan State) program that you can tell really believes in themselves,” first-year coach Chris Creighton said (via Associated Press). “… We’re definitely excited about the opportunity to continue to improve and go up there and play Eastern Michigan football.”"