MSU enters Top 25 after victory over Miami


MSU running back Payton Thorne scampers free in the Spartans’ 42-14 win over Youngstown State/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Nathan Stearns and

EAST LANSING— A win over previously-ranked No. 24 Miami on the road has propelled Michigan State into the Top 25 in both the AP and Coaches Poll for the first time since Sept. 28, 2019. The Spartans are ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll and No. 21 in the Coaches Poll.

MSU, who is 3-0 for the first time since 2015, has outscored Northwestern, Youngstown State and Miami by a 118-52 margin and has accumulated at least 490 yards of total offense in all three games, as well as at least 230 rushing yards.

Payton Thorne, the redshirt sophomore from Naperville, Illinois, is second in the Big Ten with nine passing touchdowns to go along with 726 passing yards, one rushing score and no interceptions or fumbles. Transfer running back Kenneth Walker is currently leading the Big Ten, and the country, in rushing yards with 493. His five rushing scores are tied for second in the conference, only behind Michigan running back Blake Corum.

MSU running back Kenneth Walker makes a reception during a route-running drill in practice/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

MSU’s 39.3 points-per-game average is the 31st-best mark in the country; for reference, the Spartans have not had a Top-30 offense since 2014. That year, Michigan State, led by quarterback Connor Cook, wide receiver Tony Lippett and running back Jeremy Langford, averaged 43 points a game, the seventh-best mark in the country.

In addition, the Spartans are currently averaging 520 yards of total offense a game, the second-best mark in the Big Ten, behind only Ohio State’s average of 538.3 yards a game. Their current rushing average, 263.7 yards a game, is only behind Michigan (350) and Wisconsin (266).