Michigan State Spartans football team has to step up play at Arizona State
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Sports Writer
TEMPE, Ariz. — Michigan State’s season opener was far from perfect. The 15th-ranked Spartans committed too many penalties, had a second-half interception returned for a touchdown and needed to score in the final two minutes to hold off Utah State.
The bottom line: They won, which is all that really matters.
Season openers are always a little dicey because there are no preseason games like in the NFL, so the mantra is usually whatever it takes to win.
“I just want to win a football game. We’re 1-0. As far as I’m concerned, we’re always getting pushed up the ladder,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. “It’s a struggle out there. I don’t care who you play against, it’s challenging.”
The Spartans face what should be an even stiffer test Saturday night, when they’ll play in the desert heat against Arizona State.
Unlike MSU, the Sun Devils rolled over a smaller-conference school in their opener, 49-7 over UTSA in Herm Edwards’ debut as coach.
Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke, who grew up in the Phoenix area, threw for 287 yards and a pair of TDs with an interception in the opener against Utah State.