Michigan State's first game in the Mel Tucker era left something to be desired.
The Spartans fell 38-27 to Rutgers in a disappointing start to their 2020 campaign. The team finished an underwhelming 2019 season at 7-6, which led to the program's dismissal of long-time head coach Mark Dantonio.
According to Colton Pouncy of The Athletic, Tucker kept a positive attitude after the tough loss.
"This is the beginning," Tucker said. "This is not the end. This is a process."
The Spartans struggled to keep Rutgers out of the end zone early on, allowing 28 points in the first half. Quarterback Rocky Lombardi looked sharp at times throughout the game, but also contributed to three of the team's seven turnovers.
The Scarlet Knights victory breaks an abysmal 21-game Big Ten losing steak, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The game marked head coach Greg Schiano's first game at the helm for Rutgers since 2011.
Coming into 2020, expectations for Michigan State were low after losing Dantonio. A staple in East Lansing, he coached the program for 13 consecutive years, amassing a total record of 114-57.
Although the start for Tucker wasn't ideal, not all hope is lost for Michigan State. However, the road to a winning record is tough, as the Spartans will face Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State and Penn State later in the year.
Tucker and Michigan State will look to get back on track next Saturday when they square off with Michigan at 12 p.m.