What To Watch For With Michigan State Football In 2022
The Michigan State football team embarks on the 2022 season and head coach Mel Tucker (pictured above with the Peach Bowl trophy) enters his third season in East Lansing with fall practice starting today.
The Spartans were 11-2 last season with a victory over Pittsburgh in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl last December and a number 9 ranking in the Associated Press Media poll.
State returns fourth-year sophomore quarterback Payton Thorne and top-level wide receiver and kick returner Jayden Reed on offense.
And the team hopes that transfers Jalen Berger or Jarek Broussard will have the impact that last year's transfer, Kenneth Walker, III, had on the 2021 season from the running back position.
Defensively, the secondary was a big problem other than senior safety Xavier Henderson. But the rest of the defense looks to be good again.
MSU loses longtime kicker Matt Coghlan, and that's an issue. But 6th-year senior punter Bryce Baringer returns after averaging almost 50 yards a punt last season.
As for the 2022 schedule, it opens with two likely wins over Western Michigan and Akron at home. But then it toughens up after that on the road at Washington. In the Big Ten season, they have tough road games at Michigan, Maryland, Illinois, and Penn State. The home slate in the league features Minnesota Ohio State, Wisconsin (Homecoming), Rutgers, and Indiana (for the Old Brass Spittoon).
With all of that certainty (and uncertainty) that surrounds Michigan State football, here's a position by position look at the 2022 Spartans, starting with one of the most certain positions on the team: Fourth-year sophomore quarterback Payton Thorne: