At this site:
the opening line was listed as MSU - 3.5. When I looked earlier this morning the consensus was -4.5 and now it's at -5.
At this site:
the opening line was listed as MSU - 3.5. When I looked earlier this morning the consensus was -4.5 and now it's at -5.
well, they are better than Akron
Better than western and Youngstown state too. And south Florida.
Not surprising. People know MSU has a good defense, and they've seen them score some points two of the last three weeks.
With an aggressive gameplan I still think we can beat them.
If by aggressive you mean short, easy completions to our receivers and not running into a stacked box then I agree. Though as somebody said yesterday getting a good punt off is much more valuable against Sparty than it is other teams. We definitely shouldn't always run into stacked boxes and should try stuff that works but we have to minimize turnovers to win especially in this game. More constraints in this strategy obviously but there has got to be some optimum balance and that is Al Borges's challenge.
MSU doesn't give up that many short, easy completions. They play a lot of press coverage. The way to beat them is to go over the top.
You're right and at worst you may get a pass interference or at least present that opportunity. I definitely think Funchess and Gallon (maybe Dileo) are going to put some pressure on the Sparty secondary.
Funchess is the key. Their corners are fast, but he's just a lot bigger than them. If Devin is accurate with his passing, MSU is going to have its hands full covering him. If they double him, then that opens up Gallon.
Sparty scoring a lot of points lately is the best thing that could happen for us.
Whatever glimmer of thought may have been in Hoke's/Borges' mind that we can just sit on the ball and play "keep away" and beat them with 17 points, should be officially gone.
We have to be aggressive on offense, even at the expense of possible turnovers. Yes they have a good D and a somewhat questionable O. But we can't go into a shell or we will lose.
We need to let Devin and Funchess and Gallon play their games and put pressure on Sparty. Cook will be a different QB if he's the one playing from behind.
Yeah, the tough thing is that going over the top cant really be a game strategy. That's a counter play. We need base plays, and staee does a great job of taking those away. Their defensive approach is so effective because their "weakness" is a low-percentage play that usually doesn't work.
This is why I wish we were more aggressive on defense. More blitzing and press coverage. In college, just put heat on the QB/WRs and force them to make a quick decision/accurate play. More times than not, with a guy flying at their face, they won't execute. We're not dealing with Tom Brady or Drew Brees. At the college level, if you have athletes, blitz often and press.
An analogy from my work softball team that I manage: if there is even a remote chance of stretching out an extra base on the base paths, go for it. Odds are that the defense won't execute an accurate and well-timed throw when you pressure them. (We're not very good, so we need every advantage).
For next week, I don't know what it means, but state once again has a killer defense that blitzes 75% of plays and jams receivers at the line. We'll have great trouble morning the ball. Need the over-the-top stuff but also draws, screens (lol), and quick drops to Funchess and Gallon.
Yeah, the tough thing is that going over the top cant really be a game strategy. That's a counter play.
Disagree. It's only a counter move when teams, who had been playing straight up, start cheating up towards the LOS. In MSU's case, they cheat up from the first snap so that part is already taken care of. You can go max-pro and air it out from the get-go. That's what USC did to us for the entire second half of the Rose Bowl in 2007.
Blitzing and pressing taxes your DBs, who are college students just like the QB you are going after. Most college DBs aren't good at press coverage. For that matter, neither are most NFL DBs.
Two sides to that coin. I don't know which is right, but blitzing a lot might not be a sound strategy, just as sitting in a 3 deep shell might not be.
They don't give up much in the way of completions unless you can get penalties called on their incredibly aggressive corners. I've yet to be impressed by Dennard, but if he is allowed to grab jersey all day then he'll be a handful defensively.
This will be a slog of a game, but UM has shown an ability to move the ball against competent defenses at least some of the time while MSU has shown far more inconsistencies. If they can limit the turnovers I don't see why UM can't play a low-scoring game and win.
Home cooking being what it usually is in college football officiating, we should assume that MSU's defense will be clutching and grabbing with impunity all day.
I'd agree to an extent, but these are also conference referees who will undoubtedly be hammered about the non-calls. They are going to be aware of it, and UM is the type of program that will get the benefit of the doubt versus, I don't know, Purdue.
This is why Funchess is key. Dennard is listed at 5'11", 197. Funchess is 6'5", 235 and has crazy leaping ability. He's a load for any CB to cover, and the grabbing is a lot more obvious when it's against him. We need to target him early and often unless he's being bracketed - in which case Gallon should be in single coverage.
I agree, thoughI think Gallon is a pretty big handful as well. The problem MSU will have is trying to cover both guys. If they roll their coverage to Funchess, should hopefully open up some running lanes.
I'm with IronMan!
Cool story bro.
MSU has been favored up in EL. I can't imagine it's happened more than a small handful of times.
Some of this might also be a reflection that Vegas doesn't buy our respective rankings.
Vegas only cares about getting action on both sides of a bet. They aren't saying that MSU is 5 points better than UM, only that they need to give up some points for people to bet on MSU. This is a toss-up and Vegas is putting it in the zone because I don't think they have any idea how it will go but UM gets more action because of their name recognition.
Under that assumption, Michigan would be the favorite so as to dissuade Michigan faithful from betting on them.
Good old happy ang weighing in. She's a charmer.
Man, I'd take M given 5 points all day long.
I bet if you looked up msu's record as a favorite, and Michigan's record as an underdog, you would be very pleased with the numbers!
That would be my guess too, but I don't know where I'm going to get the historical record of pre-game Vegas odds. They don't necessarily correspond to our respective rankings.
I know we were the dog in 2005, when we were 2-2 and they were 4-0. Of course, we won and their season collapsed. The parallels between MSU under JLS and Michigan under RichRod were crazy.
But we will be at Spartan Stadium cheering our hearts out! I don't care if it's a "good game," as long as UM wins! Go Blue!
I'm afraid of a beatdown like MSU gave the basketball team at Breslin last season. No one except Trey seemed ready to play that game, and MSU was hungry and had something to prove. Coming off a bye week, with MSU coming off a 40 point offensive performance and just breaking into the rankings, I'm afraid they'll come to play and UM won't. I really truly hope that Lewan and Gallon and all the other seniors and leaders have the team pumped up and ready to go. The coaches can't do it all. I'm excited but nervous!!
I don't think anyone on this team or staff will forget 2011. This team has a lot to prove. They might not win, but it won't be for lack of hunger.
I'm afraid of a beatdown like MSU gave the basketball team at Breslin last season. No one except Trey seemed ready to play that game, and MSU was hungry and had something to prove
That game came on the tail end of an absolutely brutal stretch of games (something like 5 in 13 days, all against good teams) when we were probably exhausted. Here we'll have had two weeks off before this game.
They are 7-1. Their seven wins came from only 2 teams that have a winning record (Iowa 5-3 and I-AA Youngstown State at 7-1). You back out of youngstown state the records of their opponents are 15-30. Not to mention I don't think they have faced a dual threat qb this year. And if they have, they haven't faced one like Gardner.
I don't know if we're going to win. It's going to be a good game. I just don't want to see the coaches stick with a stupid game plan if it's evident that it isn't working.
Their offense is becoming functional and the defense is as good as ever, why wouldn't the line be moving their way?
and see that in the matchup of MSU's D and Michigan's O everything hinges on 12 guys on one side (MSU's) and one guy (Gardner) on Michigan's, I bet for MSU at home.
Michigan is my team, and I know we can win this game. But while I'm a lot more confident that Borges calls an inspired game than most people, I think a whole lot hinges on how we weather the early ugliness from MSU. If we are intimidated we will lose, and could lose handily. If we play them tough early and our confidence grows. . .
Hell, we need an inspired game from Mattison, too, a pick or some sacks to let Cook know we're not Illinois early. I want Dantonio fretting about whether to send in one of his other bad QBs by the third quarter.
It would be hard for me to take UM+5......I just dont trust Hoke/Borges on the road against a team with a pulse. We have seen 3 yrs of crap from them in this scenario.
Hope you're right about Borges. I still feel like we're one or two INTs from the coaches going back into a PSU-like shell. Gotta let Devin play. Ride or die.
Still pissed that it took a loss for the coaches to dispense with the offense they want to be and go with what works.
If we don't put this game in Devin's hands, we will lose. Of course, he might make too many mistakes and we lose. But that's better than the alternative.
The obvious: We won't be able to run the ball. Their coverage will lapse, but their pass rush won't. DG makes good decsions moving in the pocket, uses his feet when necessary, and the D is good enough to keep a horrible offence from scoring many points.
Yes, we must have a strategy of passing coupled with Gardner scrambling and forget any thought of a run game. It's risky for Gardner, especially with State's well-documented "aggression," but if he plays it safe (slides, runs out of bounds, doesn't force passes, and so on) it should be very effective.
If we see entire drives played out of the I-formation, I give up. I would love to see 95% shotgun.
A win will be worth more. More schadenfreude, gnashing of teeth, couch abuse, polls, perception, etc...
Our defense is designed to play against an offense like they use. We win by at least ten. They've only beaten one team with a winning record and their offense is invisible against any defense with a pulse. 28-10 Michigan.
but I would be very surprised if we win big in this game. I agree with your thought about our D vs their O, though. We have a deceptively good defense and it's suited to stop an offense like this.
Unless I'm mistaken, the line 'opened'yesterday so the comments along the lines of 'well yeah, they just won by 5 touchdowns are missing the point. The line moving means that the betting was on msu to cover.
I can't disagree to be honest, until M win a road game against a decent team the assumption is that they will crumble. Hoke's best road win is what? At NW in 2011?
In terms of final record, @ 7-6 Illinois in 2011. It's amazing how good Michigan has been at home vs. how poor on the road.
I haven't done the research to back this up, but I'd bet that we're turning the ball over more frequently on the road than at home.
I'm sure you're right Don, although we do tend to at least seem far more conservative on the road as well.
under Hoke on the road counting bowl games, 4-5 not counting. The idea of toughness probably comes into play here somewhere. . .
How do you go from 7 losses under Hoke counting bowl games, 5 losses not counting? Hoke is 1-1 in bowl games.
So far under Hoke we have not yet gone on the road and beaten a team that's finished the regular season with a winning record.
against a team with a winning record. I could be wrong. But I don't think he does.
Is probably more than either team will score. This game is going to be unwatchable.
Bet the under.
Whew, good thing I looked it up. Games aren't decided by Vegas betting lines. Crazy.
that Gardner will have more turnovers than UM has points.
your sparty friend is a moron. typical sparty grad intelligence.
for having a Sparty friend. Life is easier without them.
...now it's back to -4.5
Does anyone know if it's usual to be moving so much at this time?
I remember hearing that's when the "sharps" come in and lay some real money on lines that have drifted too far in one direction.
I was thinking this line could get up to 6. Not surprised here
I don't mind. Being the underdog is a slap in the face to the team and they should respond appropriately.
vegas wants people to take sparty, which means michigan is the bet to take...
that said if you look at history (specifically hoke on the road) and State's defense I think 5 or 6 is a fair line, I certainly wouldn't take michigan +3 or less...
Their defense is well known and well studied. Mattison has to have a master plan to disrupt their newly minted offense. Devin will lead team to score some points.
The outcome will be determined by a field goal (???!!!) in last second.
Not at all bothered by being an underdog in this one. I think I would take Michigan and that line myself actually. If it is of any interest, Massey Ratings currently (this might update in the morning as per normal for the site) gives us a 23% win probability with a median score of 28-20. TeamRankings' algorithm is a little more generous to Michigan, placing the win probability at just short of 40%.
Wow. That seems low.
I'll believe in hoke/Borges on the road v. An even halfway decent team when I see it. I expect to see a lot of bitching about game plan and playcalling after this one, since that seems to be the case after every road game.
If Gardner doesn't turn the ball over, we've got a legitimate shot. But I don't know how that doesn't happen. MSU's D will be blitzing the hell out of Gardner all day. And at the end of the day, I simply do not trust this coaching staff on the road against anyone. They've given me no reason to do so.
Whatever! We'll see what happens Saturday.
I know how averse Borges is to quick passes in the flat, but what I would like to see VS MSU is an attempt:
Throw a WR screen out of the stack. Put Funch at the point of attack, he ought to be able to block the CB who is pressing. By virtue of the stack, the other two WRs should get a clean break.
I think back to 2001 when MSU has Plaxico and he went beast mode against us. Carr tried everything including placing David Terrell on Plax (he got tossed like a rag doll). I want Funch to be our Plax. He should win physical battles at the line.
so much Funch to watch. And if the announcers were worth a crap they would note the irony. I want to see several more of our receivers get in on the action.
Hoke is not on the hot seat. That's crazy talk. He's in zero jeopardy of losing his job win or lose.
If you're defining "hot seat" as "facing criticism from fans," then every coach is on the hotseat, including Beilein at many times last season (and probably this coming season as well).
"Hot Seat" probably was a bad choice of words, but maybe the "Less Cool Seat" would apply. Of course, Brady Hoke isn't going to be fired anytime soon, and I regret having said something that would imply that outcome.
But remember, Brady Hoke's mantra for Michigan's football success has been "Winning the Big Ten Championship." He's the one who set the bar that high. A loss to Michigan State next Saturday probably makes it unlikely that Michigan will be playing in the Big Ten Championship Game this season, and if that happens, after three seasons as Michigan's head football coach, Brady Hoke will have won as many Big Ten championships as his predecessor.
While I appreciate Brady Hoke's desire to measure success by Big Ten Championships, I'm concerned that his measuring device places undue pressure on a lot of young men who might have to consider themselves ether failures or something less than successes, if that goal isn't achieved.
I don't subscribe to the notion that "every kid deserves a trophy" just for competing. It makes sense to encourage the goal of winning a championship. As often as I've watched my children suffer humiliating losses in athletic competitions, I've also seen them play for championship teams; but I never considered them to be less than successful, just because their team didn't win a championship. And if Brady Hoke doesn't lead Team 134 to a Big Ten Championship this season, I wouldn't think of him or his players as being less than successful.
Don't want to speak for anybody but I would say Funk and Borges are on fairly hot seats. Agree that Hoke is definitely not there but we are at Year 3 and I think it is reasonable to expect a Big Ten championship in the next three seasons and/or a win in a good to great bowl game. This is Michigan fergodsakes; expectations are high.
made mention when he was hiring Hoke that he paid particular attention to "Red Letter Games". Hoke is 4-3. And 0-3 on the road against OSU, MSU, and ND. Last year's ND game was a winnable game. We were in it against OSU, and we'll be in it in this game. IBut if we get shut out again on the road after this year against those teams, it's going to get the boss's attention.
What's good enough? We are 6-1 right now.
RECENT MEETINGS MICHIGAN MICHIGAN STATE
DATE AWAY/HOME. LINE O/U
10/20/12 MSU 10 - MICH 12 MSU 8.5 U 43
10/15/11 MICH 14 - MSU 28 MSU -3 U 47.5
10/09/10 MSU 34 - MICH 17 MSU 5 U 64.5
10/03/09 MICH 20 - MSU 26 x MSU -4 U 54
10/25/08 MSU 35 - MICH 21 MSU -3.5 O 44.5
11/03/07 MICH 28 - MSU 24 MICH -3.5 O 51
10/07/06 MSU 13 - MICH 31. MICH -15 U 52.5
10/01/05 MICH 34 - MSU 31 x MICH 4.5 O 59.5
10/30/04 MSU 37 - MICH 45 x MSU 11 O 49
11/01/03 MICH 27 - MSU 20 MICH -4 U 51.5
Now my head hurts from all the yelling.
In other words, lay the points. We haven't covered in years.
The team and the coaches have a lot to prove in this game. No one seems to think this team is good enough to beat MSU. No one seems to think Hoke & co. can prepare well enough to win on the road (rightfully so). Im curious to see how this goes but my gut tells me that we will win this game. Lets hope my gut isn't just being a homer..
They do have a ton to prove. The pressure is squarely on Michigan. At this point MSU is still playing with house money.
Hoke and Co have been terrible on the road. I'm honestly surprised it's not a bit more in MSUs favor.
I would be surprised if we cover that spread.
We don't have to cover. They do.
MSU reminds me so much of the Jets- setting football back 100 years.
Michigan as the underdog allows the "no respect" angle. I know they don't "need" more motivation, but I would imagane that the coaching staff will have no problem keeping their attention.
good post. Agree about getting up early. Confidence will be everything in this game, for both sides. You have to expect that their D keeps them in it, but it's not hard to see this one being a two-score win for either side.
It's hard to predict the outcome of this game.
In the end, neither of these flawed teams is capable of beating an OSU, let alone winning a Rose Bowl against a Stanford or Oregon.
Rationalize it any way you like, bring in all the statistics you have, but the eyeballs don't lie.
Neither team is championship caliber.
If Iowa and NW could take Ohio down to the wire, we can, too. It will take a great teamwide effort, but it can be done. Let's not forget that they might have a loss if not that for that iffy 4th down spot in Evanston.
Agreed, if we play our best (which, admittedly is a big if) there's no reason we can't beat them. Ohio isn't some unstoppable juggernaut this year.
Haven't you got it by now? You can throw stats and records out the window in The Game.
Unless one team is really really bad, both teams usually play their hearts out.
Just to name some unexpected games: 1987, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2011.
One team was supossed to blow the other away, and it didn't happen in those games mentioned above.
The Game? That's 3 weeks later
Well, (un)fortunately for Staee, they won't have a chance to prove you wrong about any of those teams unless they win the Legends.
Not surprised. This team craps the bed on the road.
The line is reasonable. I'm concerned about our suspect interior line and a quarterback who has been turnover prone going up against that defense. And don't underestimate how hostile that environment will be.
My guess is Sparty scores maybe once off a turnover. The game is pretty close until a clinching score late. Sparty, maybe 27-17.
The good news is I'm crappy at this prognosis stuff.
Yeah - that is reasonable. It's a push game at a neutral site. The way MSU dominated a crap team pushes this in the 5 pt range
Some weeks Al Borges looks like a genius, some like an idiot. Some weeks MSU scored 40 points and another week they barely score on offense at home vs Purdue.
Would surprise me if the final score was 31-14 either way
Is to shit the bed on the road, even against unwatchable teams. Of course, I want U-M to win, but if the same bunch who showed up in CT or PA play this Saturday, they may as well mail it in.
Well, at least Dantonio has no weeds...
Overlooked are long term trends. What has remained the same. MSU's defense has been excelent in all of their games. Because of their conisistancy it is reasonable to presume that they will play well. The offense though less consistant has made improvments. The running has improved from impossibly bad to decent. The QB has been inconsistant but is certainly playing better.
UM on the other hand has not been able to run at anyone. Even IU was able to keep the power runs under wraps. I believe it is reasonable to predict that any power running against even 7 man boxes perhaps even 6 will fair terribly. The defense has been bend but don't break, but has allowed numerous big plays and has been unable to generate a pass rush with a generic rush.
The home team gets some points because there will be critical plays where the offense will need to check out of a play and communication will be difficult. Also the other team will be amped up and energized. I think if we had any kind of running game, we would have a chance. I do not believe we have to outrush MSU, but it has to be something. My concern is even if Gallon & Funches are matchup problems, the fact that we are one dimensional allows MSU to blitz like crazy. I believe Gardner will have to play the game of his life similar to what happened against ND. Except now he has to do it on the road.
UM can beat MSU. But UM is more worried about Sparty's D-line than vice versa. Both sides can turn it over, but UM is far more predictable in that department unfortumately. I see this game as a referendum on Hoke as a credible head coach. If he loses this then I think many will lose faith in him.
Do you suppose young players automatically become good overnight?
I would expect them to get better through the year. Alabama lost 3 of their OL and put brand new guys in and struggled in the first game against VT. Now that line is working well even when they had to replace the current starting center with a backup for three games due to an injury. Come LSU, Auburn, SEC championship that line will look completely different than the one that played VT.
That should be the expectation. Barring tons of injuries the team should e getting better and better.
are shitty fans.