One of the biggest games for the 2014 season will happen at Autzen Stadium on September 6th with Michigan State coming to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks. Both teams will have plenty to prove in an early season matchup that features some names we already know in Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota and Spartans Quarterback Connor Cook. Both are Heisman Candidates for the upcoming season, but Athlon Sports sees at least three additional Michigan State Spartans who could turn into Heisman contenders and household names and all it takes is one game to do it.
Among the Michigan State players in their list of Big Ten Heisman Candidates, aside from Cook who passed for consecutive three-hundred yard gains against Ohio State and Stanford are Running Back Jeremy Langford who last season was a force for the Spartans. He had eight one-hundred yard games, all in Conference play and rushed for just over eighteen hundred yards with eighteen touchdowns on the year. Another name in the mix for the Heisman, who will likely have to do some work this season to get there is Defensive End Shilique Calhoun.
He will certainly be one to watch at Autzen. Calhoun is six foot five and two hundred sixty pounds and as a Sophomore wreaked havoc in the Big Ten Conference last season with thirty seven tackles and seven and a half sacks. Athlon Sports says he has a huge NFL Upside. Of course I am expecting a chess match on Defense with the early September matchup with the Oregon Ducks having a new Defensive Coordinator in Don Pellum who replaced longtime Defensive Mastermind Nick Aliotti who retired following the Alamo Bowl.
Oregon and Michigan State kick off their seasons on Saturday August 30th. The Ducks host South Dakota(7:30pm PT, Pac-12 Networks) while the Spartans host Jacksonville State(4:30pm PT, Big Ten Network)