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Michigan State Football: Spartans to open 2022 season versus Western Michigan on Friday, Sept. 2

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The game was moved from Saturday to Friday to open the 2022 campaign.

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

For the 10th time in 12 seasons, the Michigan State Spartans football program will open the season on a Friday.

MSU’s 2022 season opener against the Western Michigan Broncos has been moved up by a day, and will now be played on Friday, Sept. 2 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. The Big Ten Conference announced the news on Wednesday morning. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3 when the revised 2022 schedule was released by the Big Ten on Jan. 12.

The kickoff time, TV network and ticket information for the game will be announced at a later date.

Since 2011, Michigan State has opened the season on a Friday every single year except for 2017 and 2020. MSU somewhat recently opened the season against Western Michigan in both 2013 and 2015, which were both victories for the Spartans. Michigan State is 14-2 all-time against Western Michigan. The Broncos have not defeated the Spartans since 1919.

Michigan State is coming off of an impressive 11-2 season in Mel Tucker’s second year at the helm, which was capped off by a New Year’s Six bowl 31-21 victory against Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl. Western Michigan had a solid season in 2021 as well, going 8-5 overall and soundly defeating Nevada in the Quick Lane Bowl by a final score of 52-24.

There are some interesting storylines to follow leading up to the 2022 season opener between the two in-state foes. Quarterback Payton Thorne — who was committed to Western Michigan before flipping to Michigan State as part of the 2019 recruiting class — will be facing off against his father’s new team. Western Michigan hired Jeff Thorne as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in late January. Wide receiver Jayden Reed also used to play for the Broncos, transferring to Michigan State following his freshman season in Kalamazoo in 2018 and sitting out during the 2019 campaign.