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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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College Football Jacksonville State Gamecocks at Michigan State Spartans Start Time, Odds

Michigan State Football: Most Memorable Plays in the Mark Dantonio Era

The eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans open their college football season tonight when they take on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised live on the Big Ten Network. Currently the odds for the game have the Spartans favored by almost five touchdowns in this one.

Jacksonville State
+34½ -105
Michigan State -34½ -115

The Spartans were very impressive last season, ultimately winning the Rose Bowl and finishing the season with the No. 2 ranking in college football. But that was last season and Mark Dantonio wants this year's team to be more focused and ready to roll. Hosting Jacksonville State tonight should be no problem as the Gamecocks obviously aren't as good as Michigan State.

Jacksonville State averaged better than 35 points per game last season and won 11 games overall. Michigan State had one of the best defenses in college football last season, but will have to contain and tackle well tonight against the upset-minded Gamecocks. Jacksonville State averaged better than 442 yards per game on offense last season.

MSU is replacing major contributors Max Bullough and Denicos Allen, to name a few. Don't forget Darqueze Dennard and Isaiah Lewis in the secondary, either. Sparty will have some turnover, but Shilique Calhoun is still a monster on the defensive line. 

Connor Cook, the MSU quarterback, is poised for a big season. He threw 22 TDs last year and is looking for more this season. The Spartans love to run the football, but can also be deadly through the air. 

It's worth mentioning that Jacksonville State is ranked No. 6 in the FCS poll, so they aren't your typical pushover cupcake. They've put together 11 straight winning seasons and head coach John Grass is looking to have an impact on tonight's game.

Michigan State will win this game, but the window is closing between major college football teams and the lesser schools. This should be a good test for the Spartans, who always have great defenses under Pat Narduzzi. It will certainly be a strength versus strength battle tonight in Spartan Stadium.

Free Pick: Michigan State 41, Jacksonville State 21

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