The Michigan State Spartans handled business the past two weeks against Northwestern and Youngstown State. Now a huge non-conference road test looms Saturday as the Spartans visit Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida to face the No. 24 Miami (FL) Hurricanes.
While the Spartans enter the matchup undefeated, Miami has struggled to open the season. A 44-13 defeat in a neutral site game in Atlanta at the hands of No. 1 Alabama to open the season is understandable, but a narrow 25-23 win over Appalachian State at home this past Saturday was surprising to some. The Hurricanes started the season ranked No. 14 in the AP preseason poll, before dropping to No. 22 after the season opener, and now No. 24. In my own ranking of the MSU schedule by difficulty of opponent, I had Miami at the No. 2 most difficult opponent on the Spartans’ regular season schedule. Despite the slide, it should still mark a tough road test.
All-time, Saturday’s matchup marks just the fifth meeting between the programs. MSU is 0-4 against Miami, and the two programs have only faced off against each other when Miami has been a football independent. The first three games in the series were all played in Miami, occurring in 1945, 1959 and 1982.
The lone game played in East Lansing came in 1989. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 non-conference matchup scheduled at Spartan Stadium was canceled and a new date has not yet Ben scheduled.
Despite the lopsided results, the series has been competitive. The largest margin of victory was the first game in 1945, a 21-7 defeat. Since then the margin has been less than seven points with losses by five (18-13), three (25-22), and six (26-20) respectively.
The game will also mark the first regular season non-conference road matchup for Michigan State since a trip to face Arizona State in Tempe, Arizona on Sept. 8, 2018. That was also the last true warm weather destination MSU visited, though the humidity of Miami and the dry heat of the Arizona desert are as different as the New Jersey turnpike is from the prairie land outside Lincoln, Nebraska. The visit marks the first trip to the state of Florida by the Spartans since the Outback Bowl against Georgia on Jan. 2, 2012.
Michigan State Spartans (2-0) at Miami Hurricanes (1-1)
Date: Saturday, Sept. 18
Kickoff: 12:06 p.m. EST
Web/Mobile: ESPN.com/WatchESPNMobile App
Play-by-Play: Joe Tessitore
Analyst: Greg McElroy
Sideline: Katie George
RADIO: Spartan Media Network
Play-by-Play: George Blaha
Analyst: Jason Strayhorn
Sideline: Will Tieman
Website/Mobile: msuspartans.com/MSU Spartans app/Tune In radio
Flagship Stations: Lansing: WMMQ (94.9 FM)/WJIM (1240 AM); Detroit: WJR (760 AM); Grand Rapids: WBFX (101.3 FM)
Affiliates: 30 affiliates listed at msuspartans.com
Satellite: Ch. 106 (Sirius), Ch. 196 (XM), Ch. 958 (SiriusXM.com)
Pre-game Show: Begins at 10:30 a.m
Location: Miami Gardens, Florida
Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium (64,767)
Surface: Natural grass
All-Time Series: Miami leads, 4-0
Series in Miami: Miami leads, 3-0
Last Meeting: MSU 20, Miami 26 (1989)
Current Series Streak: four by Miami (1945-)
Still looking for a last minute solution for watching the game after finally cutting the cord during the coronavirus pandemic? Then be sure to check out ESPN+ for this matchup.
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