No, it's FUNYUNS boys...
No, it's FUNYUNS boys...
and indirectly you have touched upon the factor that will decide this game. Gardner's legs v. Michigan State pressure. State has not been tested this year to any degree against an effective running quarterback. The best response to State bringing pressure is for Devin to find some lanes and turn the tables on them. If Gardner can force them to think twice about selling out with pressure it can change the entire complexion of this game.
Agreed that Gardner's the key, but I think it's more a matter of Gardner's decision making vs. Michigan State Pressure (rather than Gardner's legs). If Gardner can maintain his composure and avoid unnecessary turnovers in the face of an aggressive and skilled MSU defense (i.e., take his lumps when he has to), I like Michigan's chances. If not, then it will be a long afternoon.
has been pretty effective in pass protection for much of the year.
We do need a counter to that double A gap blitz, which no team anywhere (and not just vs. Sparty) seems to be able to punish. Butt on a short, quick drag over the middle?
Beyond that, on third down we're going to need Fitz to pick up that tough little bastard Denicos Allen more than once.
No they have not. The line routinely leaves guys unblocked against the blitz and almost always has one guy struggle man to man. There is almost never a clean pocket except when we run heavy play action with max protection. Gardner has scrambled a ton, and this is because the line has not been good in protection.
if we go max protect. If the pocket breaks down after that, it should be Gardner in open space. . .
How physical is Funchess, really? He's definitely big, but he's struggled with blocking, perhaps due to a lack of physicality. While I would like to see him throwing people around on the outside a la Burruss vs. Terrell, I don't think it is a foregone conclusion that will happen.
Who were the big physical WR's last season that were breaking jam coverage? Don't think anyone would have called last years OL "rock solid" good yes, but far from great. Also have same running back (along with bigger back in Green) as last year.
14-13 at the half. We pull away with one score in the second half (late 3rd Q) and we hold them off.
MSU scores 1 TD off a turnover and 2 FGs.
Neither did Notre Dame and they came away with a victory. If Michigan can keep the turnovers to a minimum, they win.
MSU still had a hysterically bad offense, and QB roulette.
That isn't exactly the case any more.
"...if we limit turnovers."
That's a huge "if." Especially considering that MSU's defense isn't just good, but really aggressive. There's a definite possibility of a couple of really negative, non-mutually exclusive developments: 1. offense struggles and TOs start piling up and 2. playcalling goes super conservative.
Can Michigan win comfortably? Sure. Will they? Given UM-MSU games of recent vintage, I seriously doubt it.
is going to be ugly. I just hope Borges has something for that double A-gap blitz we're going to see all game.
is going to be close, and above you 1484 said it won't be close. I agree with you, we need to pick up the blitz have some semblance of a running game, and cause a few turnovers. I am hopeful, but I think it will be a tight game...
They should definitely be prepared for a fake punt or fake field goal...no excuse not to be.
Yup. I am sure Hoke & Co. know that, but I just wish there was a way for me to remind them just in case. MSU does trick plays and fake punts/FGs more often than most teams. M has to be prepared for this. For kicks, don't do coverage. Simply play the fake every time and make sure the returner handles the ball. I'd rather prevent a fake kick then get yards on the return. Play the fake, have the returner call a fair catch every time, problem solved.
The best way to have success against their defense is to spread them out and throw quick passes before their blitz can get home. I've only seen limited action of teams against them, but IU seemed to have some success spreading them out, and Illinois moved the ball pretty well with quick passes on their first drive (and not at all after that).
They like to leave their corners on an island and bring 6 or 7 on over 50% of snaps. Devin will have to make good, fast decisions, but their defense can be exploited if the ball gets out before the blitz arrives. Unfortunately, Devin likes to hang on to the ball sometimes and dance around looking for something down field. It leads to large sacks and unnecessary hits on the QB.
Michigan can't try to run the ball every first down like they did against PSU. Shooting yourself in the foot and turning every drive into 2nd and 11 will lead to a lot of 3 and outs. Hope the forecast doesn't have a lot of wind, and please not the trash tornado weather because if this turns into a trench war, I do not like our chances.
I think MSU's D scores at least 1 TD, maybe more. its gonna be cold, windy, maybe rainy. i have a mental list of 20 reasons why, which i won't get into now.
Unfortunately I don't see how we win this game with anything short of a perfect outing.
First 7 games don't really make me believe we can pull off:
Only thing that makes me feel okay is that I think Mattison will have the defense flying around after that Indiana game, and JMFR will be all over any scrambling they try to do with Cook.
It's gonna be another 14-10 kind of game. Right now I think we're the 10. I'm sure the homer-ism will start flowing by Friday and I'll change my mind on that.
regardless of which JmfR you mean, jake ryan or james ross, i think that state will find a lot of success running up the middle against our undersized DL. i haven't watched every game, but the ones i have seen they have a 295 lb H-back that leads into the hole and just destroys dudes. UM can scheme all they want, but i think state does this 15-20 times in the game and if they get 4+ yards each time it begins to set up play action that even Connor Football can complete.
It wouldn't surprise me to see more Henry at the 3-Tech instead of Black, although that means less rest for Washington at Nose unless they want to give Ash a few reps. This will be a less pass-focused offense than many of the other offenses we have seen this year, so I would guess we throw out some stouter fronts. Or maybe more of Heitzman at SDE and Godin/Wormley next to Washington. Regardless, Washington is going to get plenty of play and the Dline will probably show a little bigger than it has in the past few weeks.
Dude, you MF lost me at "which JmfR". For future reference, JMFR is always Jake Ryan
I don't care how ugly the game is because in this instance any kind of win is pretty. No injuries for either team.
Our helmets got wings!
I was waiting for this thread and to say that I am already of sick of talking about the game, thinking about the game and imagining the game. Can we start it yet?
This game will break the mold of the winning team having more rushing yards.
No it won't. I have a feeling Devin will gain a lot of yards on the ground, scrambling. State shutdown Denard on designed runs. I think the key in this game will be yards Devin gains on scrambles and keeping turnovers down.
I don't think ill ever get used to seeing us picked to lose badly. This isn't Bama we're playing. As inconsistent as we have been, they have been equally as inconsistent. We both have an advantage when our defense is on the field but at least we have the weapons to pop a big play at any given moment. Devin is no more untrustworthy than Connor f'n Cook.
If Hoke plays to win and insists Mattison/Borges unleash the hounds, the turnover battle will even out and the game will be ours for the taking. This State team just doesn't scare me how they seem to have spooked everyone else. I don't see it.
Borges and Hoke will go in expecting a low scoring, defense dominated game. They will game plan expecting that Michigan’s D will limit MSU to under 20 points. This will be the first of two major mistakes:
1. MSU always schemes for this game, and will install some explosive plays on offense that will help push it to at least 2 if not 3 touchdowns and a few field goals. I see Sparty scoring at least 20 points by virtue of its offense simply because (a) home field, (b) they scheme to Michigan all year, and (c) their offense has improved a great deal the last few weeks. Add in the 50/50 chance they will have at least one TD on defense, and they will reach roughly 24-30 points.
2. Borges will have installed a horrible, conservative attack meant to limit turn overs. In the first half he will max protect a ton and light first down on fire a lot as he scopes out what MSU is doing, and Devin will be under 50% passing given he targets an overly covered Gallon and Funchess over 90% of the time. Michigan doesn’t score more than 14 in the first half, if that. In the second half, Borges starts opening it up since we are behind, at which point Gardner gets sacked every other 3rd down due to 3rd and long, and Borges and Funk’s inability to properly prepare Gardner for check downs off of MSU’s double A gap, and corner blitzes. Devin makes a few throws, we score another td or so, but overall the frustrating, conservative game plan turns out to bite us in the ass as we lose 30-21.
Seems I've seen this movie before!
What I'd like to see is Borges softening the defense up with throws to Butt and Dileo. They are the two that MSU will least likely scheme around, so they should be early targets, and once MSU adjusts, that should soften the run game and over the top to the big 2 - Gallon and Funchess.
Its possible, but they game planned against us in 2011 and 2012. They scored 21 and 9 offensive points in those respective years.
Not saying they can't win, but lets not see boogeymen under our beds. They have a bad offense that our defense matches up well against. The defense IS scary, but I have confidence in our ability to move the ball and score points, which we have done pretty consistently (except score against Akron).
"Surprised there hasn't been more on the board."
That's because they're Michigan State.
Let's not pretend they haven't been the second most frequently talked about team on the MGoBoard. Despite which ever team is Michigan's biggest rival in real life, this board's number one enemy has shown itself to be Michigan State and it's not even close.
I'm calling a defensive shootout right now. 4-2 Good guys
For once, sparty will come in over-confident. It's always close but I'm thinking 24-21 good guys.
Replace but with so.
my god. This is pathetic. Michigan is going into spartan stadium and kicking some Sparty ass and that is final. First the "refs are not going to call the pass inteference" and then this "how can we avoid getting killed discussion" that is breaking out. I just thought this wasn't getting talked about because most, like me, just assumed that we were going to go up to EL and take care of business.
Come on. Devin is going to throw all over them and Fitz is going to run all over them and then Jake MFR is going to bring the pain. Enough of this apolegetic non-sense. This is Michigan.
I am sick of everyone praising the msu defense like they are god.. They are ok but not that fuckin great they have had zero test this year, well ND i guess was a real test but we know how inconsistent ND has been this year and they are not all that great either.
MSU defense and OL have a lot of seniority and they have experience but other than that their offense is garbage.. And no Illinois game doesnt show how great msu offense is since Illinois has lost 17 straight conference games and they are worse than any B1G team....we have good talent and Hoke an the Team will cone through..
Indiana was the biggest test (on offense) this year for both teams (thus far). Both teams faced the Hoosiers at home. In my opinioin MSU dealt with the Indiana problem much better than Michigan did.
UM vs Indiana:
Gave up 47 points and 572 yards
MSU vs. Indiana:
Gave up 28 points and only 351 yards.
MSU's defense is ranked No. 1 in the nation for good reason. Yes, their offense does suck, but it has probably improved since early season debacles against WMU and USF.
Over the year, MSU's quarterback issues, penalties and shitty offensive performance hasn't hurt them very much. While Michigan has a good rushing D, they have no pass rush, and a horrible pass defense (255 YPG, 10th in league)!!
On offense Michigan really has no running game, unless it's Gardner taking the rep. UM's passing game is scary good, but MSU's pass defense is tops in the league by a huge margin.
Here's a good SB Nation article that tries to answer the question "How do we know if Michigan State's defense and Baylor's offense are actually any good?"
They seem to be getting better but for most of the year that has been true, which makes what MSU's defense has done even more impressive. They haven't had the luxury of having an offense churn out long time consuming drives while they get to rest on the sidelines.
for feeling sorry for me. I live in complete farm country Michigan, surrounded by Spartans. They are insufferable. Oh, also, Sparty came to my kids' elementary school (public). I need this one, bad. It has been a nice quiet past year....
We've significantly underperformed in many aspects of the game this year. Barely winning against some poor teams, and leaving a win on the table. But this game, this far into the season, should provide a true evaluation of this staff.
Adjust to what you have. Put people in positions to succeed. And play to win. Let's outscheme a team for once as well.
Football folk, how do you mitigate their Double A-Gap Blitz? Screens (have we seen one this year?), slants, rollouts?
Max protect with quick releases to Butt, or quick hitches to Dileo, Gallon and Funchess, being mindful of Sparty jumping routes. Great discipline to throw it out of bounds and avoid the sack. Moderate OL play (that will be the hardest part).
Max protect + short passes = stupid game plan.
If you want quick passes, you don't need max protection. Moreover, it would probably behoove a coordinator to spread the field if they are planning to pass it short, as it spreads the defense and opens up passing lanes. You can't spread and max protect.
You make Borges look like God.
Sick of it.
They have a defense. Big woop. This is a flawed team just like ours who has beaten absolutely nobody. 6 of the worst teams in college football were on that schedule. The one decent team they played, they lost to. They "improved" about as much as we did against Indiana.
This is year 3 with Hoke. They have seen this show twice before and I am very confident that defensively they are going to shut that pile of shit down. They have two weeks to do it. And trick plays will be on watch. They won't be getting the okey doke pulled on us this year. So its up to the offense to score a few times. 17 should do it.
Loosen up chaps. We win this weekend. Maybe even big.
This is a really shitty BIG10 once again. But we do know how Michigan lost to a "nobody" at Penn State, though admittedly Michigan pretty much beat themselves in that one
With tight, emotional road rivalry games like this one, this is frequently the case. It's rarely about elaborate schemes or opening up the playbook. It's more about not beating yourself with errors.
The only dangerous team on the field this Saturday is Michigan - as much to themselves as much to opponents. MSU's offense isn't impotent. It's just not very good.
What I remember was, after the 12-10 loss last year, Mark Dantonio said he was elated not to have to face Denard Robinson anymore. This year Michigan again returns with a QB leading the team in rushing. MSU has not faced a legitimate rushing threat at QB all year, except maybe Jake Ruddock of Iowa (4.6 ypc, 5 TDs).
Gonna be a dogfight. I think we have more big plays on O and Mattison dials up some blitzes that get home. Huge road win.
"What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer..."