Michigan State kicks off its B1G season on Saturday with a home matchup against Rutgers. However, due to COVID-19 concerns, the atmosphere will be significantly different than usual.

We already knew that Spartan Stadium will be without fans. Now we’re learning there won’t be cheerleaders, a marching band, or Sparty in attendance either, according to Detroit Free Press reporter Chris Solari.

That’s a major bummer but it’s understandable given the need to ensure the safety of the players and coaches.

Michigan State is coming off back-to-back 7-6 seasons. Last season, the Spartans finished fifth in the B1G East. Michigan State’s last season with a double-digit win total was in 2017 (10-3).

After Saturday’s game vs. Rutgers, Michigan State hits the road three times (Michigan, Iowa, Maryland) in the next four weeks. While there won’t the home field advantage of 75,000 fans for new coach Mel Tucker and Michigan State on Saturday, getting a Week 1 win has added importance in this shortened season.