No. 24 Miami, Michigan State play with Top 25 spot at stake

Michigan State (2-0) vs. No. 24 Miami (1-1), Saturday at noon EDT (ABC).

Line: Miami by 6 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Miami leads 4-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Miami needs a win to remain in the AP Top 25 and avoid what would be its second 1-2 start in the last three seasons. Michigan State could return to the national rankings with a victory; the Spartans’ last appearance in the AP Top 25 was in September 2019.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III vs. Miami’s defensive line. Walker is averaging nearly 11 yards per carry and, going back to the last six games of 2020 when he played for Wake Forest, he has at least one rushing TD in eight consecutive games. The Hurricanes pride themselves on D-line play and it’ll be tested this week.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan State: QB Payton Thorne is 30 for 46 so far this season, good for 465 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.

Miami: DB Amari Carter is coming off a big game against Appalachian State with seven tackles and an interception that set up a 6-yard touchdown drive.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan State has already held leads for longer this season (a staggering 119:37 out of a possible 120 minutes) than it did in the entire seven-game 2020 season (95:26). … Miami is seeking a 10th consecutive 2-0 home start. The Hurricanes won their school-record 15th consecutive home opener last week. … Michigan State will aim to start 3-0 for the first time since 2015. … Miami QB D’Eriq King is 10 yards shy of 8,000 passing for his career. He will become the only active FBS player with at least 8,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards (2,048 entering this week). … Michigan State is playing a true road regular-season game in Florida for the first time since a 1988 loss at Florida State. The Spartans are 0-4 in road games in the Sunshine State, including road losses to Miami in 1945, 1959 and 1982. They’re 2-5 in bowl games played in Florida. … Miami has appeared in the last 19 editions of the AP Top 25, the eighth-longest active streak.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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