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.
along with msu always busting out plays just for this game we need to offensively treat this like last week. Didn't defense, FOR SURE, but still need to attack and literally already give up on under center runs....maybe even passes as every time we go under center after not running well it's obvious PA pass that's poorly PA'd and gives a blitzing defense time to get penetration before Devin can make a read down field. Treat this like last week: Test deep often and attack. At worst, it's a long punt to an offense that stalls at times and at average you get a completion/PA call. Truly, single coverage passes beyond 20 yards are the most underused plays in all levels of football. Little can go wrong, much can go right.
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.
MSU completely dominated the 2nd half, but they were lucky in the 1st half to not face a deficit. Illinois shot themselves in the foot, but good defenses do that to teams. It's going to be tough game, but I think we come out on top.
M Offense vs MSU D: I don't think they'll be able to tee-off like they could against Denard. Our best offense is Gallon/Funchess getting throws from Gardner, and Gardner scrambling. With 2 weeks to prepare I'm optimistic Borges will run a game plan that wil work, rather than the one he WANTS to work. Key will be to balance Gardner taking shots from that defense with plays that...actually work.
M Defense vs MSU O: They'll probably get some things of play action, but Michigan will be one of the better defenses they'll see. I don't expect much scoring from Michigan. Field position and turnovers may decide things.
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.