Heading into this weekend’s game with a Maryland team that was playing well before having their season paused due to COVID-19 issues, Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker will need to pull things together to get back in the win column.

Tucker is hoping to get on the field this Saturday.

“I’m pulling that we can get this game in,”  Tucker said Tuesday during his weekly news conference.

While the Spartans await official word about this week’s game being on or off, Tucker has continued to work on getting his program in shape. Redshirt freshman linebacker Marcel Lewis entered the NCAA transfer protocol on Monday, and there is expected to be some further departures and a need to dip into the transfer portal and junior college ranks to fill some spots.

“There’s a certain type of culture and a certain type of player that we need to have here. That’s really nonnegotiable,” Tucker said. “Everything’s an evaluation. And halfway through the season, at this point, we have a pretty good idea of who can do what. … Nothing is set in stone. I mean, it’s compete and show us what you can do and earn your spot, earn your playing time, earn your right to be able to even stay on the team. Because this is not a recreational-type of situation. This is compete to play, compete to stay.”

Should the game be on, the Spartans will bring a three-game win streak over the Terrapins into College Park, and they’ve won five of six since Maryland entered the B1G in 2014.

Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 AM, Saturday Nov. 21 in College Park, hopefully.