Friday, November 1, 2013

Michigan State Preview

Michigan State Spartans Resin Tree Face Ornament
Please don't make a Michigan one of these
Time: 3:30 EST
Location:  East Lansing
Weather:  High 47, 50% Rain
Line:  Michigan +5

A Cook and a Gardner, usually you need both to enjoy a delicious meal.  The Gardner will grow wonderful fruit or vegetables and the Cook will prepare it for dinner.   These two professions work together for your pleasure.  Not on Saturday. 

On Saturday afternoon, both Gardner and Cook will do their best to win this instate rivalry game.   They will work against each other and unfortunately one fan base will feel pain, while the other feels joy.   The other unfortunate fact is both teams success lies directly on both of their shoulders.

Tale of the Tape

Wins: Michigan 68 MSU 32 =  Clearly the Little Brother
Devin Gardner vs. #1 D in the country = MSU
Cook vs. GMAT & Ryan= Michigan
+ or - Turnovers = MSU
Terrible Weather = MSU's Defense
Special Teams = MSU

Well that doesn't look promising, does it?  MSU's defense will be the best unit on the field on Saturday.  There really isn't any argument to that fact.  The key is, what is their weakness?

You really don't need to be a brain surgeon to understand the MSU game plan.   They will try to win it on defense, dink and dunk on offense for first downs and they will definitely run a trick play.   Those plays can win or lose you a game.  A stupid trick play cost MSU the ND game this year. 

Michigan at times this year has played a little defense and this MSU offense is no Indiana.   If there is an offense that Michigan is designed to stop, it's this one.  MSU will run, throw short passes and take a few shots deep.  That's it, their offense is vanilla as offense can get.   Don't let the Illinois game fool you, that offense put 7 points on Purdue in East Lansing the week before. 

Sing Hail to the Victors if.............................

  • Big AL earns his living and has a great game plan on the road
  • Devin doesn't turn the ball over and gets out of bounds when he runs
  • Gibbons hits all his field goals
  • The Michigan defense shuts down The Cook and the rest of the kitchen

Start making plans for the Outback Bowl if..............

  • Michigan has a negative turnover margin
  • Brady Hoke's struggles on the road continues
  • Big Al's game plan is to run Devin if running straight into the line against the #1 D doesn't work
  • The Michigan D is giving up points

What is with the bad weather in East Lansing for this game?  Wasn't there like 40 mile per hour winds the last time they player there? 

Each team knows the other well and the only surprise will be when MSU runs a fake punt from their own end zone.   So here is a list of things I like and don't in this game.

I like:
  • Michigan's offense has a high upside but we have only seen it in glimpses
  • Michigan's D, should be able to stop MSU's elementary offense
  • The Wolverine players will be motivated to win a rivalry game
  • Even though it's a road game, it's a very short trip

What I don't:
  • I don't trust Big Al's play calling against a good defense
  • Michigan does not play well on the road.  They just don't
  • This is always a very physical game and I worry about Devin running to much and making it to the end of the game.
  • Michigan is starting a walk-on and two freshman on the offensive line against the very good MSU defensive line.
  • Bad weather does not help Michigan's offense that needs Funchess and Gallon to have big days.

I would love to see Michigan run some "Nascar" packages on offense to keep MSU's defense a little bit out of sync.  Indiana did put 28 points on MSU.   If Big Al thinks he will be able to win this game by a power run game, I will lose my mind.   Keep a RB in to protect and let Devin win or lose this game with his arm.    The State corners are very physical, find the tight ends and see if you can get the ball to Funchess and Gallon.   I expect MSU to commit at least 2-3 pass interference penalties.  
This is the first game of the year, where Michigan is an underdog.  I hope the Wolverines play hard and smart, because you know MSU will play hard and dumb (with personal fouls etc.).

This will be a low scoring game, like last year and maybe another kicking contest.   Gibbons better have found his confidence.   Michigan can win this game if they show a ND game effort, but we really haven't seen that for a long time. This game is also being played in East Lansing.   I hope I'm wrong. 

MSU 24 Michigan 13

Go Blue!


Brian Ball said...

Go Blue !!!!

Anonymous said...

Borges sucks