Michigan State tries to move on from Mel Tucker mess, hosts Maryland in Big Ten opener
Thu, Sep 21, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
Maryland (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) at Michigan State (2-1, 0-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Peacock)
Line: Maryland by 7 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook
Series record: Michigan State leads 10-3.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Michigan State desperately needs a win, days after the school told suspended coach Mel Tucker it intends to fire him and a week after getting routed by No. 8 Washington. Maryland has high hopes with a strong start, following eight- and seven-win seasons with a bowl victory in each of the last two years.
Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa against Michigan State's defense. The Spartans face another quality quarterback after being easily handled by Washington's Michael Penix Jr., who threw for 473 yards and four touchdowns. Tagovailoa has completed 69% of his passes for a total of 664 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in two games against Michigan State.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Maryland: Tagovailoa is flourishing for a third straight season. He backed up his brother, Tua, and Mac Jones as a freshman at Alabama in 2019. Tagovailoa is averaging nearly 300 yards passing with five touchdowns and two interceptions this season.
Michigan State: QB Noah Kim. He has been OK in his first season as a starter and the reeling Spartans need him to be great on Saturday to help their chances of getting a much-needed win. Kim is 48 of 84 for 707 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.
FACTS & FIGURES
Maryland is coming off a 42-14 win over Virginia, starting 3-0 for the third straight season under fifth-year coach Michael Locksley. ... Harlon Barnett is in his second game as interim coach, replacing Tucker, who informed earlier this week that the school plans to fire him for cause and without pay due to activist and rape survivor Brenda Tracy's allegations of sexual harassment. ... The Terrapins have won their first three games by 18-plus points each for the first time since 1948. ... Michigan State gave up a school-record 713 yards last week in a 41-7 loss to the Huskies.
___ AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll"