Saturday, March 6, 2021

Michigan State football to play Maryland during Big Ten Champions week

December 13, 2020
<p>Cornerback Keaton Ellis (2) brings down Michigan State running back Jordon Simmons (22) during Penn State football’s game against MSU on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Beaver Stadium. Penn State won 39-24. Photos courtesy of Lily LaRegina, photographer and photo editor at The Daily Collegian.</p>

Cornerback Keaton Ellis (2) brings down Michigan State running back Jordon Simmons (22) during Penn State football’s game against MSU on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Beaver Stadium. Penn State won 39-24. Photos courtesy of Lily LaRegina, photographer and photo editor at The Daily Collegian.

In the Big Ten Champions week, Michigan State has drawn Maryland for 7:30 p.m. next Saturday, Dec. 19 after missing an earlier matchup in the season due to Maryland having a COVID-19 outbreak within their program, MSU Athletics announced on Sunday.

When the Big Ten announced the Big Ten Championship week earlier this year, the plan was for each team to play a team from the opposite division who finished in the same place as them.

With multiple canceled games over the course of the season, it appears the Big Ten tried to supplement those games as best as possible as well as set up the opportunity for missed rivalry games like Indiana and Purdue that ended up being canceled last week.

Ohio State and Northwestern will play in the Big Ten Championship on that same day at Noon EST.

Maryland finished the season 2-3 with their last game being a loss to Rutgers. The Terrapins were without star quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa due to an “illness” according to the team. His status is unclear for next week’s game.

The Spartans will now have a chance to finish a season on a strong note after two straight losses to Penn State and Ohio State.

Quarterback Payton Thorne shined in his first start against the Nittany Lions and will look to build on that performance and push the Spartans to 10-2 all-time against Maryland, including a 5-1 record since Maryland joined the Big Ten.

Michigan State Head Coach Mel Tucker, after the Penn State game, said he wasn't sure who MSU would play but will be prepared for whoever comes their way.

“I haven't been told anything, but it doesn't matter,” Tucker said. “At some point, we'll get a date, we'll get a team and we'll get ready to go.”

With a win against Maryland, Michigan State has a chance to finish 3-5 on the season and head into the offseason with confidence for next season.

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