For the first time since its road victory over Miami, No. 11 Michigan State will leave East Lansing, and travel east to New Jersey to take on Rutgers.

The Spartans will be looking to avenge a season-opening 38-27 loss to the Scarlet Knights, that set the tone for a disappointing 2-5 season for first-year coach Mel Tucker.

The “bad taste” that the loss left in the mouths of the Spartans at the time hasn’t been forgotten, and defensive line coach Ron Burton said so.

But this is 2021, and these aren’t last season’s Spartans.

Tucker has the Spartans firing on all cylinders, and are just a notch away from cracking the top 10 in the rankings.

But Rutgers has shown some strength this season, and prior to a near-40 point loss to No. 11 Ohio State, had put up a solid showing by pushing No. 9 Michigan to the brink before losing to the Wolverines 20-13 at the Big House.

The Scarlet Knights defense had allowed just 14 points per game prior to the loss to the Buckeyes, but Greg Schiano’s squad hit a buzz saw and a hungry Buckeyes offense that put up 45 points in the first half alone, and ran for over 200 yards and threw for 5 touchdowns.

The Spartans will be hoping to keep the Scarlet Knights in the same mode as the Buckeyes this weekend. MSU and Rutgers will kickoff at 12:00 AM on Saturday, Oct. 9.