"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Previously: Michigan State Offense
Cackle with knowing glee if...
Let's cut to the chase: after watching MSU's defense allow six yards per play against Rutgers, my optimism hasn't abated.
Personnel: Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:
MSU's defense is as injury-riddled as their offense. Standout SAM Ed Davis is out for the year with a knee injury; safety RJ Williamson is out for the majority of the season; both starting corners are injured—if Darian Hicks can't go, which seems likely, Jermaine Edmonson will replace him and the backups will be true freshmen.
Base Set? 4-3 over. MSU will stay in their base for most of the game; it's rare for them to even bring on a nickel, which is fortunate for them given their personnel issues.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]
…because my nephew's name is Jack and he's going to his first game…if we can find a third seat in section 18 row 40ish. I got two for this game, and they weren't cheap, but prices have shot up a ton since.
Oh, this is the new feature where we talk about the secondary ticket market because I'm too cheap to donate money to get in line to buy season tickets. I've been scrounging for most of my adult life, and while it usually works out (my best friend and old sports ticket co-conspirator and I have a motto of "Everything always works out") there have been two days that it didn't. One was a 2006 World Series. The other, the 2010 Michigan State game:
On the way up, my consultant and I had agreed on a plan: We would spend pre-game trying to run into people we know, asking if they had singles with them. If not, we would wait until just after kickoff, when sellers were cursing their greed and desperate to pocket something before heading in. We had another ride lined up just in case not everyone got a ticket, our pockets were full of $10s and $5s, and we were ready – just in case – to bail for my consultant's 62-inch HDTV, where the DVR was running. I trusted this plan; my consultant has a degree in economics from Michigan State University, which I hear is a pretty good school.
I've never trusted the gameday ticket market for an MSU game again. According to Ralph at TiqIQ the cheapest tickets on their sites since then wound up at $170 (East Lansing), $146 (Ann Arbor), $110 (EL), and $104 (EL) by gametime. A hundred is the floor for these games. And this one ain't the floor.
I hope I saved you some money on the Maryland tickets—it was hard to tell how many seats went empty because the network didn't want to show it, but I heard from enough people that offering to not pay was about as good as any other procedure.
Homecoming I had to get in on the ticket exchange early because we had the alumni event. I got offered a free pair after I'd already spent $75 for two from a friend on Facebook, so I offloaded the original two for $20 apiece at Stadium & Main entrance on the way in.
|Game||In Aug||In Sept||Now||Dips||Buy?||Reasoning|
|MSU||$194||$225||$220||$207||NOW!!!||Biggest game in years|
|@Minnesota||$78||$40||$30||-||at game||Letdown year in Minn|
|Rutgers||$43||same||$60||nope||Now or later||Last reasonable home game before OSU.|
|@Indiana||$63||$60||$55||-||wait.||Going down now.|
|@Penn State||$145||$108||$115||$100||next loss||They play OSU this week so...|
|Ohio State||$217||$181||$265||$201||NOW!!!||Unless you think they'll lose|
The MSU tickets are hopping up to $250 but there are a lot of them still popping up. OSU tickets as well. These are people who see a chance to pay for the difference between the price they paid for a UNLV ticket and what the UNLV ticket was actually worth, but they're not wrong. If you want to test the waters and see if they'll come down closer to gametime, I still suggest buying printable tickets online. A lot of people who usually show up and find a ticket on the way in are going to be jockeying for the few that actually made it to the stadium. Spartans too. With Thanksgiving and the entropy of football threatening The Game, the MSU game will probably wind up the most expensive ticket of the year.
Also it'll be a crisp 48 degrees and sunny. Who would want to sell?
My gophers who investigated the Gophers ticket market were right: as soon as they were dismantled by Northwestern the "Kill-ing It" happy fun times were over, and the home crowd shrank back to the kind-hearted people who get really into punters and bits of broken chair trophies. Penn State I feel I've scouted pretty well too—the tickets will be $100 now or later but you can save $10 or $20 if you catch a firesale after a disappointing loss.
As for the two remaining home games, Rutgers is less of a dog now that Michigan fans awoke to the sooner-than-we-thought "arrival" of the good times, then immediately realized there's only one game that isn't Ohio State or Michigan State. If you buy now you're expecting Michigan to beat Michigan State on Saturday, because if that happens this ticket will keep incrementing upwards.
And then there's The Game. This could be a playoff play-in, or it could be a slaughter if the Buckeyes appear to be back on track and the Harbaugh papering job doesn't keep working. Buying now is a risk but this one's getting volatile as more believers buy in. I'd still wait just because there are soooooo many singles tickets out there. If they start getting gobbled up, make your move. It could be the best game of the year. Or of your life.
Don't do it on the board because we frown upon that, but sometimes a little moping about your ticket situation on Facebook can drum up an invite.
BEST DEAL RIGHT NOW (that I can find on the sponsor's site because let's support people who support us okay?)
If you're gonna shell out, have a good time:
Somebody priced these to move; they're a little high up (Row 96) but in the End Zone that's a good thing. And the marginal difference between them and the other End Zone is worth it to be right next to the student section.
P.S. Said sponsor has an app now in case you're on your phone reading this and don't have microscopic fingertips. If you're using them use the code MGOBLOG and they'll give you 10% off certain listings.
“Who’s kicking us off? No questions? Okay, great!”
Thoughts on Michigan State’s defense?
“They’re very good. They’re very good. They’re very fundamentally sound. They know exactly their assignments. They know where they’re vulnerable because they’ve run the same defense, or very similar defense, for so many years.
“I remember playing them in 2009 when I was at Minnesota, and looking back at that there’s so many similarities in regards to what they’re doing. Fun to see. Fun for the challenge, but they’re awfully good. They’re awfully good.”
Jake [Rudock] was kind of reticent to take any label: game manager, whatever type quarterback. How would you describe him and his style as a quarterback?
“Yeah, I don’t- I’m not a big fan, I guess, of that particular title. I think it does not give them the same credit. Sometimes you kind of lose that type of credit on that, but I don’t know. I think he does a very good job.
“He’s a good leader. He has been completing a lot of passes. He’s been smart with the football. He’s done a lot of things you would expect someone that’s a fifth-year player to do: be able to bounce back from a three-interception game opening night and play five games and throw three combined since then I think, and one of them was kind of a fluky play. So, I think he’s mature. I think he can make all the throws. I think he can make all the reads and just continue to lead our football team.”
Is Michigan State’s defensive line the best you’re going to face this year?
“Well, I don’t know. They’re good. They’re really good. I don’t know about the best or not the best. I feel like we’ve gone against some really, really good ones.
“I thought Utah’s defensive line was really, really good. I thought last week they created a lot of challenges for a lot of teams. I thought Maryland has a really good defensive line, so I don’t know. There are a lot of good defensive lines.
“Obviously this is a good football team we’re playing. We know that. It’s going to be a great challenge for our guys.”
[After THE JUMP: A great Steve Spurrier story]
About Last Week:
The Road Ahead:
#7 Michigan State (6-0, 2-0 B1G)
Last week: Won at Rutgers, 31-24
Recap: I can’t recall a team ever get ranked #2 in the country, win two consecutive conference games, and land at #7. Then again, I can’t recall a #2 team in the country playing back-to-back nailbiters against the likes of Purdue and Rutgers, so I guess I shouldn’t be shocked.
If I’m a State fan, though, this game is a much bigger red flag than the Purdue game. Michigan State ran out to a 21-0 lead on Purdue, took its foot off the gas, and then when things started to tighten up forgot which one was the gas pedal and which one was the “do a Dukes of Hazzard ramp into a hay stack” pedal. This game was a close contest the entire way, with Rutgers holding the halftime lead after largely outplaying Sparty. Fortunately for Michigan State, Rutgers went Full Rutgers at the end of the game, but the feelings are not warm and fuzzy in East Lansing.
Sparty did outgain Rutgers 489-349, but once again struggled to run the ball, rushing for less than 3.5 yards per carry against the team that surrendered 330 yards rushing to Penn State. And despite the fact that Connor Cook played a hell of a game, the offensive line was on roller skates against a team that is not known for its pass rush. And this was almost entirely before losing their (in my opinion (which is correct)) most important lineman, Jack Allen, to a naaaaaasty-looking ankle injury. He’s listed as a co-starter with 37 other guys for the Michigan game, but he left the game after giving it one play, and he left the stadium in a cart, so who wants odds.
It should also be noted after last week’s heroics that Michigan State has the lowest touchback-on-kickoff percentage in the conference and they give up the most kickoff return yards in the conference. Just sayin’.
This team is as frightening as: A big brother, but after you hit a really sudden growth spurt that puts you a couple of inches taller and a few pounds heavier. It doesn’t mean you’ll win that next fight, but it makes you feel a hell of a lot better about your odds. Fear Level = 7
Michigan should worry about: Aaron Burbridge. He’s second in the conference to Geronimo Allison in receiving yards (on about 61,000 fewer targets), and has more than triple the receiving yards of anyone else on Michigan State’s roster.
Check out Burbridge’s stats compared to the rest of State’s receiving corps: (via Bill Connelly):
Michigan can sleep soundly about: Jourdan Lewis is… well, you know. The thing at the top of the page.
When they play Michigan: Well hello there, Natural Order of Things. Have a seat right over there. We’ll be with you in a moment. Can I get you something to drink?
This week: @ Michigan, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
[AFTER THE JUMP: If I told you it would spoil the surprise and you wouldn’t hit the jump]
[ed-Seth: According to advance stats…HEY, EYES UP HERE! Yes, you. You think I didn't notice your focus was drifting down to the—?
I mean it. You'll get to that rib meat soon enough. First let's give some credit to the people responsible for the layer of redness: Stubb's, whose outgoing CEO reads this space and had the idea to give us money to put Joe from MMMGoBluBBQ in it.
Okay, NOW you can gawk, because this recipe holy cow...]
I've been waiting for a big week to cook these monsters and I couldn't wait any longer. I think this constitutes a big week, right? These Dinosaur beef ribs are a SHOW STOPPER for sure. As I told Seth yesterday, I still have the "meat sweats" and it's 3 days later, but I'm not complaining. You may have to check in with your local butcher to secure a rack of these as they are not typically found in the meat department at your local grocery store. I call them Dino Beef Ribs, but they are known as Beef Plate Ribs to most butchers. When done, these taste exactly like burnt ends of a brisket. This is the probably the most flavorful cut of beef we will make all season. Yabba Dabba Doo!!!!!
- Dino Beef Ribs (Beef Plate Ribs) 6-7 lbs per rack
- 2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
- 5 TBS Stubbs Beef Spice Rub
- 2 TBS Pepper (Coarsely Ground)
[After the jump: YEEEEEAAAABBAAADABBBAAADOOO!!!!]
“How ‘bout those Cubs, huh? Is there a real Cub fan in here? I wore No. 14 growin’ up. I mean, Ernie Banks is the greatest player ever! How ‘bout those Cubs! What do you think? What’s up? What can I help you with?”
Talk about Ryan Glasgow as a pass rusher and how he’s stepped up into that role this year.
“Well, I think all the guys up front have tried very hard to use their technique to do what fits them, you know? A lot of people when they talk about pass rush, they see all the fancy type things the NFL uses and all these different type of moves. Well, some people aren’t built for that, and what these guys have embraced is moving the pocket [and] doing what’s best for them and what’s best for the defense.
“And sometimes to be a good pass rusher you have to be selfish, where you don’t really care about rush lanes and things and you kind of just say, ‘Man, I’ve got to get to the quarterback cuz getting to a sack is everything.’ But there aren’t many sacks, so the big thing is you’ve got to stay in your rush lanes and try to get to the quarterback or put stress on the quarterback another way, and I think our kids have all tried to embrace that philosophy.”
These kids developed right along, but are even you surprised at three straight shutouts?
“I don’t look at shutouts. I think what you look at is you try to play the best defense you can and do what you’re supposed to do and everybody be on the same page, and then good things will happen. Sometimes shutouts go hand in hand with special teams, hand in hand with offense and it’s not always just the defense that gets that shutout, it’s the team. There’s been some great things done special teams-wise and offense-wise that’s allowed us to play defense and play what we have to do.
“We just go out every game trying to play as hard as we can with great effort, try to eliminate big plays, and try to make sure that we play with great effort and I think that’s what our kids are trying to do.”
Connor Cook’s been pressured but he’s only been sacked four times. Is he getting rid of the ball quickly? What’s the key to getting to him?
“Yeah, he’s a very good quarterback. He gets rid of the ball quick. He sees who the receiver should be by the coverage very well, and I think that’s a lot of him as a quarterback getting rid of the football.”
[After THE JUMP: Breaking down Glasgow’s sack, talking stunts, and Jake Arrieta: defensive end?]