"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."
There are some interesting numbers therein, including those demonstrating Sparty's continued ridiculous turnover luck relative to ours:
Field position stems from a combination of offensive and defensive efficiency, turnovers, and special teams. Michigan has actually been a bit unlucky in the turnovers department, recovering only four of 13 fumbles so far. That's a pretty scary thought and a hint at how much the Wolverines have won (mostly) in efficiency and (a little) in special teams. State has been much more reliant on turnovers.
The Spartans have been a little bit lucky in terms of interceptions. They're holding onto their chances (24 percent of their 25 passes defensed have been interceptions, which is a bit high), and opponents are dropping theirs (8 percent of 26 passes defensed have been interceptions).
Some regression in this game in these categories could mean a big swing in our favor. Recommend reading the whole thing; it's not very long.
MSU now has the #1 class in 2016. Good thing the game is on!
Miles Bridges gives the Spartans the uncontested No. 1 recruiting class in the nation for 2016 pic.twitter.com/HDHrQQFghQ— Sean Merriman (@BTNSean) October 3, 2015
Miles Bridges on MSU commit Cassius Winston: “When he committed, then I basically switched over to Michigan State from Kentucky,”— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) October 3, 2015
The rest of the teams on State's schedule aren't ranked (and probably won't be). That's why I'm asking for your thoughts after this game in particular.
Not Good for Michigan
- State's DL is, lordy, as advertised. Oregon's OL started one senior and a bunch of sophomores, so maybe some wiggle room in there. In general, however, scary stuff. Unless Michigan's OL can improve enough to look solid against BYU, my guess is that Michigan's running game is going to be a ton of passes.
- From what Brian said, the Michigan DL might not match up well against their guys, especially with Mone out. Note that Oregon started a bunch of seniors on their line.
- Kings, State's slot guy, was really effective. I hope Peppers and others can rapidly improve enough to blanket him and other slotty dudes.
- I'm not sure Michigan can improve their special teams enough get the boost that Oregon got in their game.
Not too Bad for Michigan
- Rudock does better under duress than Adams; he gets positive/no yards where Adams lost yards in some cases. Relatedly, overall, I think Rudock makes better decisions, and he's already showing improvement.
- Michigan's corners, especially if Lewis is back, match up well with Burbridge
- So far, the Michigan OL has been better about QB protection. Brian's UFR shows it's not that awesome, but it feels better than last year, at least.
What do you folks think?
There has been ongoing discussion regarding MSU's defensive strategy with regards to both football and basketball on this site. Whether on the gridiron or the hard court, their aggressive grabbing, pulling, hand checking, using the coach as an extra defender, jamming, neck twisting, throat punching, etc. has been well noted right down to their self proclaimed thuggery of "X minutes of unnecessary roughness". As frustrating as it has proven to be for opposing teams, it has been mostly effective for them. So when these antics occasionally backfire (see repeated floor slapping, Valentine's woofing, unleashing Russell Byrd in any capacity), it's nice to savor the moment.
My contribution to said meme is highlighting one of the strategies deployed in attempt to disrupt Stauskas's shot on Sunday. There were clearly a lot of extra curriculars targeted at Stauskas, as the numerous scrapes on his body throughout the course of the game would suggest, but the focus of this post is the Rick James approach.
As Stauskas was elevating and finishing over every defender Sparty put on him, I began to notice that MSU's players had more or less given up on trying to get a hand on the ball to block his shot. Nor were they satisfied with simply getting a hand straight up to impede his sight line or the trajectory of the ball. Instead they resorted to literal face slapping (also not a foul)...
Appling: "What did the five fingers say to the face?"
TL;DR summary - Sparty's defensive strategy:
Perhaps people with wrist boo boos should consider fewer slaps of the court, opponents faces, and what not.
As if the recruitment of Malik McDowell needed anymore "Wait... What?!" moments, TheWolverine released an interview with Lawrence Marshall earlier that included a pretty shocking quote:
"I told him he should go there if he wanted to - I'm happy for him at MSU," Marshall said. That was the school he wanted to go to. But he came to school today and was basically telling me he was going to Michigan. When the letter was on the table and he signed it, I thought he was going to Michigan.
When I first got there this morning he was leaning toward Michigan and telling me he was going to Michigan, so when he announced it, I was shocked."
Wait...WHAT?! I am now trapped in a glass case of emotion. It should be noted that McDowell's LOI is still not in, so who knows where he will end up.
Can't get the link to work but according to Steve Lorenz on Twitter, Sparty was at East Lake high school and didn't know who George Campbell was. Confirmed by Campbell himself.