Monday, October 25, 2021

Michigan Monday: An Early Look at Michigan State

With ND on and off the schedule for years, Michigan State has jumped into the #2 rival for Michigan's Football program.   They have also been successful against our beloved Wolverines, some in very head scratching ways like a walk-off blocked punt or a Joe Milton/Don Brown COVID special last year.  

Like the Wolverines, most College Football folks didn't expect much from the "transfer portal" Spartans going into the season.  Entering the season, MSU had lost 14 players to the portal and added 20 new names to the roster.   How do you reboot your program quickly?  Hit the portal and Mel Tucker has been so successful at it, his name is mentioned as a front runner for the LSU job.  Spartans fans will be enraged if they lose another good coach to LSU. 

So now we have a top 10 match-up between these two instate programs.  Lets take a look at the stats:

Rank: #8 7-0 

Best win is Miami on the road. 

Pass yards per: 251 (49th)

Rush yards per: 200 (33rd)

Total Offense: 404 yards per game (87th)

Total Defense:  450 yards per game (26th)

Ken Walker III has been a great pick-up by Michigan State.  He comes in from Wake Forrest and is now a 2nd tier Heisman Candidate.   MSU is a solid team that doesn't beat itself.  They played a very poor game in Indiana but found a way to win 20-15 the last time they took the field.   It will be interesting to see if these 20 new transfer portal players have the same "hate" in their hearts that the other Spartans fans have this Saturday.  Also Mike Hart is back and that will throw more fuel on the fire in the media. 

  • I was very happy to see the freshmen WR Andrel Anthony get some snaps after Sainristil had a bad fumble near the goal line.   Junior Colston also got his first start as a Wolverine.  A2 is from East Lansing, so he will be even more hyped up for the game on Saturday in front of family and friends.  
  • I love a huge defensive Nose Tackle and #3 Jordan Whittley is my favorite right now.   I hope the big man get some more PT. 

  • Roman Wilson was out there for a few snaps.  I hope he is getting healthy.


Chowman said...

I got a bad feeling about Saturday. I never buy in to the "saving parts of the playbook" talk. That's just dumb. What coaching staff is going to risk losing to a lessor opponent just to save a few plays for bigger games later in the season. No the reality of it is Michigan's offense play calling has no imagination and is very predictable. Especially in the red zone! As far as the defense, there's been some concerning trends with receivers releasing uncovered. Especially true for TEs and RBs that pretend to block and then release. Nebraska did that 2 or 3 times against us. I'm also concerned that at times the D seems confused on how to line up and the opposition snaps the ball when we're still getting set. MSU has a very capable running game, with a back in Walker that can take it to the house at any snap, and WRs that can stretch and test our secondary like no other team has been able to do this season so far. And their D? The front 7 is very capable of punching us right in the mouth. Their weekness is the secondary, but Cade has not shown the ability to take advantage of them. His accuracy on Saturday was not good! There were at least 3 big plays that he left on the field cause he didn't put his WRs in the best position to make a play. Saturday has all the makings of this team stepping on a rake!

MichiganMan said...

Bob, you mention one important thing is "20 MSU players came from transfer portal" that is a huge deal. I don't think these players have any idea what this rivalry means or do they even care. I think they will just treat this as a regular game. One key aspect is how many of those transfer plays are actually playing? That would determine the intensity of the game. I see Michigan is coming out on the top. As so many of Michigan players already have been on the team and played MSU for past couple of years and naturally developed a dislike taste in their mouth.

Justwin said...

I think State is overrated. But also believe we aren’t #6 in the country. I def believe we have the potential to be a top 5 team, and the next few weeks will tell me if I’m delusional or not.

State scares me simply bc this is their Super Bowl. They only are/stay relevant when they beat us. So, if our coaches get our boys viewing it the same way, we should steamroll them. If we approach it anything like NW or Rutgers… I’m worried.

Tim said...

This game scares me too. Until we can figure out how to effectively throw a forward pass and score when goal to go we are not going to beat good teams.

I love our running game, but to keep good teams honest we need to have a downfield passing game and imagination on offense...right now we don't have either.

I hope JH surprises me and Gattis proves me wrong but I am concerned we will score less than 20. Can we beat State with only 20?

Rudy said...

Sparty has become the Goodwill Industries football programs, or Last Chance Sparty U. I'm not convinced that Sparty is for real. Against decent talent, they have struggled and really benefited from the other teams crapping the bed. Not this weekend. Close for a half and then pull away for a double-digit win. Would like to see the team finish the game by standing on the 50 and taking a steamy piss on the sparty helmet, not unlike the piss that danonio took on it on his way out the door....after collecting his $$!

MichiganMan said...


Blue for life..

Fire Don Brown from AZ...hire L. Riely