2021 Record: 11-2 (7-2)
Few teams surprised as Michigan State did in 2021. Coming off a 2 win season, Michigan State climbed to a #3 ranking. A victory over Big Ten Champion Michigan was impressive. The blowout loss to Ohio State in a down year shows how far Michigan State still has to go.
Michigan State relied heavily on running back Kenneth Walker, who is going to the NFL Draft. The offense brings back quarterback Peyton Thorne who had a solid season.
The defense was not a strong point for Michigan State. Specifically, the pass defense. The pass defense ranked 111th last season. That will not cut it in the Big Ten.
Michigan State will try to replace Walker with Jalen Berger. If Berger can’t replace Walkers’ production, it will be up to Thorne to carry the offense. Before Michigan State can be taken seriously, the pass defense will have to make giant strides.