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2023 Opponent Outlook: Why We Will Beat Richmond

MSU should start its season 2-0

Useless trivia: there are 16 cities named Richmond in the USA. They are found in states as far apart as Maine and California, and there is even one in Michigan. Of course, there is only one East Lansing. The Richmond that is home to MSU’s week 2 opponent is the one in Virginia. Richmond University is an FCS school that plays in the Colonial Athletic Association, which as recently as 2020 was divided into two even divisions of 7 and 4 teams. But when they expanded to a 12th team in 2021, they decided to do away with divisions.

Richmond had a respectable season last year, finishing at 9-4 and going out in the second round of the FCS playoffs. They did play one FBS team last year, losing to Virginia in their opener. The Spiders lost that game by 17 points, so I feel like that should be the mark that Coach Tucker should want to beat when they come to the Woodshed in week 2. At that point, MSU will have had one game under their belt, the quarterback situation should be ironed out, and the depth chart should be established, or at least close to it. This game, in theory, should serve as a final tune-up before the competition gets considerably more challenging in week 3.

Here is some more trivia: Richmond is the only university in the country with the “Spiders” team name. While MSU is not the only Spartan school, we are the biggest and most famous. While Arachnophobia is a very real thing, and was also the name of a 1990 horror movie with Jeff Daniels that certainly gave many of its viewers a case of the title fear, these Richmond Spiders should not give MSU much to be worried about. I know we see FCS teams taking down FBS teams every year - there were 8 such games in 2022 - but the majority of those happen to teams outside of the power five or to schools more known for their academics (i.e. Northwestern). Of course, it can also happen to schools named um.

In this case, look for MSU to tap into its depth on the offensive and defensive lines to push around a less talented opponent. The weather will still be warm in East Lansing, the student section will still be basking in the excitement of a new school year (I miss college), and the Spartans will show that they can easily squash a spider. MSU will go to 2-0.

13 days till the opener. I hope you are all getting pumped.