Scouting Report and Prediction: Michigan State vs. Michigan State…Yes, I realize they are in Iowa City and playing the Hawkeyes, but read on. Their real opponent is themselves.
A look at this week’s opponent…
The Michigan State Spartans are an unimpressive 3-1. While having the nation’s elite #1 defense, they also own one of college football’s worst offenses. They are superman on one side of the ball and Pee Wee Herman on the other. Yes, it is that dramatic. The offense has talent, now they have to perform.
When MSU has the ball…
Iowa is going to attempt to make Michigan State win this game through the air. Like everyone they have faced for almost the entire time Dantonio has led them, Iowa will try to make the poor performing “skilled” players take it to them. I don’t blame them. That is how I would attack them.
MSU must get into a rhythm where they are throwing when they want to and NOT when they have to. The offensive play calling has been absurd. They must come up with a plan that has WRs going past the first down marker when they do throw by choice, but stay with the hot player when he is performing. They can’t try to outsmart themselves. Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and love who you are.
This team is NOT Oregon or Texas A & M. They are MSU. Pound green pound. The Hawkeyes are going to do all they can to stop the run. They have a defensive backfield that is grading higher than I think they deserve.
MSU needs their guys out on routes to catch the ball and throws to be accurate. Simple football. Simple game plan. That is why I say this is MSU vs. MSU.
When MSU is on defense…
Just be who they are. I don’t think Iowa can score more than ten on them unless MSU has a big lead and plays a lot of young players. Just do what you do and be who you are. Force Iowa to the air, which I think they will do and make them pay with a pick six.
Remember the rule of five. If MSU wins that, this game is over. For those who don’t remember it, it has to do with sacks and turnovers. If the Spartans have three sacks and give up two that means they are plus one. If they then get four turnovers and give up only one that means they are plus three. That would give them a plus four for the day. They want to get to a plus five ratio at least every game.
If the offensive coordinators can improve….greatly….perhaps some of the underperforming players on their side of the ball will follow the example.
We all know that Mark Dantonio has a river boat gambler in him. He knows how critical this game is. If MSU wins tomorrow, they should be 7-1 heading in to Michigan week. With AT LEAST looking at 8-4 as a record if they don’t beat the Wolverines. If they lose, the Spartans could fight for a bowl game. How long can one side keep stepping up and carrying an entire team?
Because of the enormity of the game I think MSU scores on special teams, gets a defensive score, and the offense gets ten points because of the great field position, and MSU stays on the right track improving to 4-1.
Make it 24-10 and MSU gets the win…14 of the points coming from the defense and special teams.