Michigan has to wait all the way until mid-November before playing Michigan State, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to take a closer look at the in-state foe. The Wolverines clobbered the Spartans last season in East Lansing 21-7 and are looking to build on that rivalry win this year. Here are three Michigan State players to watch in 2019:
QB Brian Lewerke
No player is more important to the success of the Michigan State Spartans as Lewerke. The talented quarterback had a disastrous 2018 and will need to start strong just to hold onto the starting job. He showed everyone he can be one of the best signal-callers in the Big Ten during the 2017 season, but will need to replicate that for MSU to be an upper-tier conference team.
He should have recovered from his injuries and be ready to lead the Spartan offense.
Lewerke completed 54.3 percent of his passes a year ago, totaling 2,040 yards, eight touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
DE Kenny Willekes
The best player on Michigan State’s roster is Willekes, who is a force at defensive end. He racked up 8.5 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss and 78 tackles last season, and is on his way to an even better senior year before he heads off to the NFL.
He will be one of the biggest challenges for Michigan’s offensive line, and will serve as a great test before the unit has to face Chase Young and the Ohio State defensive front two weeks later.
LB Joe Bachie
Another senior from the MSU defense, Bachie is a bulldog and makes plays all over the field. The MSU defense should be one of the best in both the Big Ten and the nation, and Bachie is one of its stars.
Last year, he had 102 tackles, nine tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and two forced fumbles.