Oh God What If Boston College Follows You Around Like You Just Broke Up With It And It Wants To Be Friends

Oh God What If Boston College Follows You Around Like You Just Broke Up With It And It Wants To Be Friends Comment Count

Brian October 9th, 2017 at 11:49 AM

10/7/2017 – Michigan 10, Michigan State 14 – 4-1, 1-1 Big Ten


a metaphor for somethin' [Bryan Fuller]

Don Brown is in one of those Progressive commercials where everything gradually turns white, except in his case everything is gradually turning back into Boston College. Someone walks by with a bunch of hockey sticks. Bill Simmons is on the television again. He swears he overhears a conversation about pahking the cah. Maroon filters into his peripheral vision.

On Wednesday at three fifteen PM there is going to be a knock on the door. Steve Addazio is going to walk in and sit down. Brown will summon all his willpower not to jam the nearest pen through his own eyesocket, to claw the power of sight from his face and evaporate from the world of men.

Jay Harbaugh, seated, will wonder if the slight twitch under Brown's eye means anything or if it's just something that happens to men of a certain age. He will not say something about "guys being dudes," and will never know how close he—how close all of us—came to Total Mustache Annihilation. He will tell Brown about Terrace House, a Japanese version of the Real World where everyone is very nice and considerate of each other's feelings.

Thus disabused of the Addazio specter, Brown will resume destroying all that opposes him until the inevitable knife in the back. He tries not to think of Sisyphus, and fails.


Michigan's main problem on offense is that they are bad at it. This is not a good problem. "Our right tackle sucks" is something you might be able to address. "Almost everyone is not good at football right now" leads to situations like Saturday. I brought up the Law Of Large Percentages Multiplied A Lot, which is something I just made up right now, in a brief twitter conversation with a reporter who wanted people to know one weird thing about Oklahoma football:

That is a weird thing, but it's not as weird as it sounds. If OU was a 10 point favorite in eight games they'd get through unscathed just 12% of the time*. If they were a 14 point favorite they get up to 27%. You have to get up to 17.5—a 93.7% shot at victory!—before Hypothetical OU even hits 50%. The Law Of Large Percentages Multiplied A Lot is that even big ones fall off faster than you'd think.

Michigan's offense has 6-7-8 guys who have to execute on any particular play for it to be a success, and... let's just say many of them are not three-score favorites to do so on any particular play. They are an example of The Law Of Large Percentages And Some Quite Small Ones Multiplied A Lot. The results can be seen in the box score, or the haunted look on the face of a man who replaced ten starters and still has the #3 defense in the country.

And so today the Must brigade is out. "Must" is the worst word in sportswriting for a lot of reasons. Foremost among them is that whatever follows "must" is something so blindingly obvious Marcelo Balboa is probably talking about a replay of it as we speak. He must catch that ball. He must YES WE KNOW I HAVE EYES, AT LEAST FOR NOW, I'M CONSIDERING A CHANGE IN THAT DEPARTMENT, THANK YOU.

I spent most of the weekend trying and failing to get this column done because I couldn't wade into any commentary on the game that wasn't furious and over the top, and immediately made me want to go do something else. Weird shit happens in college football, especially when you're playing your backup QB, and there's a brief second-half monsoon, and on top of that you turn the ball over five times. Various dirt stupid people are now flogging a "Harbaugh is 1-4 versus rivals" thing as if that encapsulates the whole of his tenure, or even his career. Yeah, Michigan had the dumb thing happen on the punt and lost by a literal inch in Columbus last year. If you're ascribing that to something other than chance I cannot help you.

Whatever Harbaugh MUST do he's probably already doing. He has a track record, and he'll either follow that up with more of the same or not. We're oddly locked in: few coaches trying to establish themselves at a new school come with the pedigree that Harbaugh does, so he'll get a ton of time and a bunch of rope and we'll see where it goes. It'll probably go really well once they aren't carrying the baggage of someone else's screwups on top of their base rate.

But I mean, go ahead and yell about how unacceptable everything is, I guess. We are dying to hear about your feelings.

*[This is based on this site's conversion of point spreads to winners.]


blanket [Fuller]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

-2535ac8789d1b499[1]you're the man now, dog

#1 Mo Hurst. Hurst got to play a lot of three tech this week and went from making good plays that someone else scoops up the glory on to wrecking the interior of the opposition offense himself. The fourth down stop stands out, because Hurst may have induced the fumble from a nervous center; Hurst whooped him anyway and the play was doomed either way.

#2 Lavert Hill. Hill's three PBUs were all excellent plays, and he was in the hip pocket of whoever his assignment was for the duration. MSU had... one open receiver? Maybe two? Lewerke averaged 4.3 YPA. Hill played the largest part in that.

#3 Brad Robbins. Averaged 43 yards a punt in often-difficult conditions and mindblasted the MSU returner on the muff; gave up just ten total return yards on seven attempts.

Honorable mention: Most of the rest of the defense. And... Grant Perry, I guess?

KFaTAotW Standings.

8: Devin Bush (#1 Florida, T2 Cincinnati, T2 Air Force, #1 Purdue)
5: Chase Winovich(#1 Air Force, #2a Purdue) 
3: Mason Cole (#1, Cincinnati), Ty Isaac (#2, Florida, #3 Cincinnati), Mo Hurst (#1 MSU)   
2: Quinn Nordin (#3 Florida, #3 Air Force), John O'Korn (#2 Purdue), Lavert Hill (#2 MSU)
1: Khaleke Hudson (T2 Cincinnati), Tyree Kinnel (T2 Cincinnati), Mike McCray(T2 Air Force), Sean McKeon(T3 Purdue), Zach Gentry (T3 Purdue), Brad Robbins(#3 MSU).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

MSU's punt returner dorfs on a bomb by Robbins, muffing it back to the two and setting up a short field that Michigan would use to get their touchdown.

Honorable mention: The first drive was pretty all right until the back-to-back fades.


Eddie McDoom drops a pass that would have taken Michigan down to the 25 with 13 seconds left.

Honorable mention: Pick a turnover but especially the first two, as they were key in Michigan's deficit by the time the rain arrived. Lewerke scrapes out a late first down because he lands on Michigan players. Michigan gets a touchdown wiped off the board on a Higdon holding call. Most offensive plays.

[After THE JUMP: what would you say you do here]


MGoPodcast 9.6: I Don’t Eat My Friends

MGoPodcast 9.6: I Don’t Eat My Friends Comment Count

Seth October 9th, 2017 at 8:03 AM

1 hour and 6 minutes


[Bryan Fuller]

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be talking to ourselves.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. The Offense

starts at 1:00

That’s the O’Korn we remember from Indiana. Right tackle is a massive hole. Think this team needs a receivers coach and needs to adjust better to what it cannot do. Drevno what exactly do you do here moment.

2. The Defense

starts at 27:47

Dominant again: State’s one successful power play was surprising because we never see a normal play work against them. Hurst was mighty. State got just about everything on frippery and luck, which was in abundance. Michigan will be in every game as long as the defense plays like this.

3. Special Teams and Feelingsball

starts at 39:09

Michigan got close to blocking a bunch of punts and got to one of them—first time this year that it looked like a solid special teams win. Maybe go for it on 4th and 2 but when your offense is butt and you’re in a 1950s game that’s fine. Don’t take the ball out of the endzone on kickoffs please.

4. Around the Big Ten with Jamie Mac

starts at 48:20

All bad blowouts. Ferentz decides to coach this week. Barkley had –7 rushing yards in the 3rd quarter. Minnesota-Purdue was probably the most interesting. Is Purdue going to challenge Wisconsin for the West or is that just the Badgers’ birthright still?



  • “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”—The Smiths
  • “Nineteen Years Old”—Muddy Waters
  • “Everyday is Like Sunday”—The Smiths
  • “Across 110th Street”



Michigan State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Michigan State Postgame Presser: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 8th, 2017 at 12:00 PM



It’s a hard game to put in words. What are your impressions of what happened tonight?

“Too many turnovers. We got momentum going, then we turned it over. You can’t expect to win when you turn it over five times.”

Replacing Nolan [Ulizio] with Juwann [Bushell-Beatty]: what went into that and how long were you guys planning on leaving Nolan in there before switching him out at that right tackle spot?

“It wasn’t a plan. Coaches decided to make the switch.”

How far along was it?

“At what point? I can’t remember exactly what point it was in the game.”

There was a stretch there with the three interceptions and you guys throwing the ball around. Did you consider running the ball more and what went into the playcalling during that stretch?

“Yeah, I mean, you can criticize that. We were trying to run the ball. We were trying to piece drives together. We really were. That was—we needed to score points and we needed to piece drives together and that’s what we were trying to do.”

There was a lot that went wrong on offense tonight but what can you hang your hat on the most in this game? What made you most proud of the offense even through all the faults tonight?

“Just not enough good things. There were good things. Opening drive was good; sixteen plays. We get the ball back, we started to do it again then three plays then we had a fumble. That two-minute drive before the half, that was materializing and looked like we would get points and we stopped ourselves there.

“Then we had the interception. It was hard to tell from where I was standing whether John was throwing the crossing route. Think he was expecting the receiver, Kekoa, to keep coming on the move. It was one of those things, weren’t on the same page there. I think the one ball, to your points, didn’t have a good grip on it. Overthrew the receiver. But yeah, there was good things. Not enough good things. Stopped ourselves. In the course of piecing drives together we turned the ball over. That’s what I saw.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more]


Michigan State 14, Michigan 10

Michigan State 14, Michigan 10 Comment Count

Ace October 7th, 2017 at 11:53 PM

The final play. [Bryan Fuller]

Death by a thousand self-inflicted cuts.

Michigan State's offense didn't look like it belonged in the same league as Michigan's defense, which forced eight three-and-outs, added a turnover on downs, and didn't allow a point after the 8:07 mark of the second quarter. By those numbers, you'd think the Wolverines would've won this game in a blowout.

But the offense, well, it all went wrong with the offense. They turned the ball over five times: a Ty Isaac fumble that killed any momentum from a promising start, a Sean McKeon fumble when they were driving at the end of the first half, and three John O'Korn interceptions. O'Korn's picks came on consecutive second-half possessions as rain fell from the sky in sheets; the coaches continued to call passes despite O'Korn's struggling and the receivers having a tough time hanging onto the ball.

That was it, really. State needed only one long touchdown drive and another on a short field to get the win while Michigan found new and demoralizing ways to shoot themselves in the foot.

After the game, the quarterback dismissed concerns about the playcalling and the weather, instead putting the loss on his own shoulders.

"I take full ownership for this loss," said John O'Korn. "You can't turn the ball over and expect to win and you can't give them great field position all game and expect to win."

"You've got to execute the plays that are called regardless of the conditions and we didn't do that tonight."

His head coach had a different take.

"Yeah, you can criticize that," Jim Harbaugh said about the playcalling. "We were trying to run the ball. We were trying to piece drives together."

It was a depressingly familiar script. Michigan State had the better, more cohesive gameplan, highlighted by their second touchdown, a gorgeous slip screen off a fake end-around that caught the entire defense on the wrong side of the field. Michigan's pass protection repeatedly broke down; Juwann Bushell-Beatty replaced Nolan Ulizio at right tackle midway through the game with little positive effect. The late-game plays didn't break the right way; MSU all but iced the game when Brian Lewerke dropped a third-down snap, frantically scrambled, and somehow rolled over two players to get the first down before touching the ground.

Another familiar sight—stupid Michigan State penalties—gave Michigan a final shot late, first when a holding call stopped the clock on MSU's final drive, then when senior linebacker Chris Frey committed an obvious late hit on Karan Higdon. Yet again, Michigan committed an unforced error. O'Korn found Eddie McDoom wide open around the MSU 30, only for the ball to clang off McDoom's hands. A couple plays later, O'Korn's Hail Mary heave hit the rain-soaked turf.

The bitter taste from this one is going to linger. Michigan could—should—be 3-0 against MSU under Harbaugh. Instead, they're 1-2. This time around, it was the struggling offense finally costing the team a game this season. Even if we knew that was coming this year, it won't sit well that it happened against the Spartans, especially given the preceding bye week and questionable playcalling.

It's going to be a long week for a lot of people.


Michigan State Liveblog

Michigan State Liveblog Comment Count

Seth October 7th, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Resources: Preview, Foe Film Offense, Defense, Seth’s 2014 primer on how MSU’s defense works

New features this week: Added more dignity.



The yellow/ orange bar is your mana. 
Sending messages costs mana. 
Messages cost more, the more active chat is. 
The red dudes on the side bar are lives remaining.

If you break the Board Rules, you lose a life. Lose three lives and you have to insert a quarter into your monitor. No no keep trying it, it’ll go in. As always, the Liveblog Chaos Mitigation Post is The Law.


The link:

Enter here: http://kibitz.io/#/defeatedwithdignity


Punt/Counterpunt: MSU 2017

Punt/Counterpunt: MSU 2017 Comment Count

Seth October 7th, 2017 at 10:35 AM


By Bryan MacKenzie

2010 was supposed to be the year. Sure, Sparty beat the worst Michigan team in modern memory in 2008, and squeaked by the second-worst Michigan team in modern memory in overtime at home the following year. But Michigan entered the 2010 tilt 5-0 and ranked #18, with Heisman candidate Denard Robinson leading an offense that was scoring 41 points per game. It was time for Sparty to sit back down. Big Brother had returned from his vision quest.

Michigan State won by 17. They went on to win a share of the Big Ten title.  Michigan fired Rich Rodriguez.



Then 2013 was the year. Sure, Sparty won the Trash Tornado game of 2011, but Michigan went on to win the Sugar Bowl that year, and in 2012 they defeated Michigan State 12-10 on a last-second field goal. So as the 2013 season started, we thought that surely this was the point in time where the universe would right itself. The Brady Hoke recruiting train was unstoppable. It was inevitable.

Michigan State won by 22. Michigan rushed for -48 yards. They fired Brady Hoke 14 months later.


Gregory Shamus

Then 2015 was the year. Led by recently-arrived demigod Jim Harbaugh, Michigan was 5-1 and ranked #12 in the country, and though Sparty was #7, they were a paper tiger, and had a number of injuries at key positions. They were coming off of one-score victories over Purdue and Rutgers. Michigan was a significant favorite.

Michigan State won by 4. And while it took an absolute miracle to happen, the game was unexpectedly competitive throughout, with Michigan State having the ball in Michigan territory late with a chance to win. Michigan State went to the College Football Playoff.


AP/Tony Ding

So 2016 was FINALLY the year, right? Mired in a 3-9 season and coming off of losses to Northwestern and Maryland, Sparty was no match for Jim Harbaugh's 7-0, #2-ranked juggernaut. Michigan was a 24-point favorite.

Michigan won, and won handily. But Michigan State marched downfield on their opening possession and scored. They managed to make the score respectable (if unrepresentative of the game), and escaped with their "dignity" intact. It wasn't an emphatic closing of a chapter. Merely a turning of a page.


This is what Sparty does. They have up years, and they have down years. They have good games, and they have bad games. But the one constant is that they play Michigan tougher than you have any right to reasonably to expect. You can trace this back further if you like. The Inaugural Little Brother Classic. Braylonfest. The Spartan Bob game. Tripping Desmond. Sparty shows up.

If you really want to, we can argue why. We can debate what it says about the two programs, or the two fan bases, or society, or the nature of time and space themselves. But the why is irrelevant.

2017 was supposed to be the year. I didn't expect MSU to have a shot at being competitive in this game. I still don't expect them to win. Michigan's defense is better than Michigan State's defense. Michigan's offense is better than Michigan State's offense.  Michigan is a better football team. But I've said all of that that before.

Michigan State 10, Michigan 9



By Nick RoUMel

Who is Paul Bunyan? Most readers know him, dimly, as a large man with an axe, and an ox. (And an ex. What is less known about Mr. Bunyan is the messy divorce that sent him to the woods in the first place.)


I kick yo’ ass Paul, you run around on me.

What began as logging folklore became legend, then pop culture. When Paul Bunyan was born, he cried so loud he scared the fish from the streams and made the frogs go deaf. His parents milked two dozen cows a day just to keep him fed. He once sneezed and created 11 miles of timber. His breakfast griddle was so big, that the cook strapped two hams to his feet and skated half a mile just to grease it.


Then there was the winter of the blue snow. It was so cold, words froze in midair and the Great Lakes iced over from the bottom up. Walking one day, Paul heard a bleat. It was baby Babe, the blue ox.


Note that Babe is not a Green Ox. Whoever heard of such a thing?


Paul became so legendary that no fewer than six towns have laid claim to his birth, from Bangor, Maine, to Westwood, California, where Paul’s statue looks like he’s just finished a latte and is about to vape.


We have to carry our axe around, to not be mistaken for a hipster. But, it’s a locally-produced axe.

Oscoda, Michigan is the "Official Home of Paul Bunyan" because the Oscoda Press published the first Bunyan story in 1906.

Now Paul Bunyan is an animated film starring John Goodman as Paul, and Jeff Foxworthy as the Ox. And of course, some smart ass little boy, well, just because.


This is not your typical family.

But how did Paul Bunyan come to personify the winner of the Michigan-Michigan State football game?

Then-Governor G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams donated the four-foot wooden statue to mark Michigan State's acceptance into the Big Ten (apocryphally because his wife wouldn’t let it in the cottage), and to commemorate Michigan as a major lumber-producing state. But neither school wanted it. Fritz Crisler announced he would refuse acceptance if Michigan won the ’53 game; but State beat the Wolverines. In ’54, Michigan won but left the trophy on the field. They would not engrave their winning scores on it, so Sparty did it for them. A tie in ’58 flummoxed both teams. MSU, heavily favored, was too embarrassed to keep the trophy, but ended up taking it home because the Wolverines turned their backs on it.

Despite Sparty’s recent success, Michigan still leads the Bunyan-era series 36–26–2.

Ah yes, Sparty’s recent success. Punt, above, succinctly describes it. But one thing must be emphasized: MSU’s winning six of seven was fortuitously accomplished only because Michigan had neither a coach, nor a football program, from 2008-2014. Like Michigan State, our University only produced manure during that period. As I have written before, Mark Dantonio’s success directly correlates with Michigan’s hiatus from major college football, when corporate missteps resulted in the Wolverines hitting the snooze button for seven straight years. Last year, finally, the trend reverted to form—back to the days when Sparty was lucky to win three times a decade, and was scrambling for the Astro-Bluebonnet bowl come November.

Those days are back. Spartan football is somewhere between the MAC and Purdue, with two-star recruits and a scowling coach, resting on past glories. They’ve replayed the movie “300” and the highlights from (that thing that happened) so often, the tape is worn like the pants of a beggar on Main Street. Their fall from the nation’s elite was so hard and fast, that it makes them wake up at 3 AM and seethe with memories, regrets, and the desire to seek comfort on the couch…until they remember they burned it.

Yes, they play us tough; I don’t pretend that Sparty doesn’t come ready to ball. But thetalent will be far short, despite relentless effort that will net upwards of 4 yards a play. Don Brown, Devin Bush, and a host of others will make sure that there is nothing more than that.

And on offense? Every lumbering green and white form is Tony Levine; John O’Korn will scream with motivation and desire; and Ty Isaac will mow down Spartan timber like a Paul Bunyan sneeze.

So, Paul. He may not have been born here, but he will permanently relocate to Ann Arbor tonight, in the rain and swirling winds. He and his blue ox will easily survive the storm, and engrave their legend for another glorious era.



MGoRadio 3.4: How to Throw a Wicked Dad-Rave

MGoRadio 3.4: How to Throw a Wicked Dad-Rave Comment Count

Seth October 6th, 2017 at 7:14 PM

1 hour and 23 minutes

37036611181_d163d4a9db_o[Eric Upchurch]

MGoRadio was recorded before a live retail audience at The Bo Store, 333 S. Main

Special Guests: Marlin Jackson (see you 2-5 tomorrow at Homes Brewery to watch football and support the Fight for Life Foundation)


The Sponsors

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be talking to ourselves.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


Purdue After UFR: The Offense

starts at 1:00

O’Korn yay and the rest is grumblin’. Backs are not getting yards themselves consistently; this one Higdon did but had a fumble. Right tackle “Never Forget” roster is run down. Receivers are what they are. Upside is in the tight end group. Good peripheral blocking from the fullbacks is wasted when the OL isn’t clicking.

Purdue After UFR: The Defense

starts at 18:22

Man are they good. Purdue only got a few Jeff Brohm things and then Michigan downloaded it. Nice to see the throwback screens shut down, though that’s still somewhat dangerous. Devin Bush is amazing. Rashan Gary isn’t getting the stats but when you break down the film he’s sucking up doubles and creating for Winovich, Hurst, and the linebackers. Furbush: secret weapon.

Gimmicky Top Five: Things You Don’t Want Jim Harbaugh to See on MGoBlog

starts at 33:21

So a few weeks ago former MGoBlog employee Tom Van Haaren did a shoot for ESPN with JT (foreground) where you can clearly make out Jon Falk showing Jack Harbaugh a user’s page on MGoBlog. So we asked Ace and Brian to name the five things they wouldn’t want Schembechler Hall reading. We’ll no commit those to writing or post the links because that would be cruel so instead here’s a picture:


4. Marlin Jackson and Michigan State Preview

starts at 47:48

Marlin joins us mid-way through the segment after some technical difficulties that Seth was completely absolved of. Zero guesses which position he would want to play in Don Brown’s defense.

Michigan State is a series of unfortunate things: they’re not good, but Lewerke can make some things happen, LJ Scott is dangerous, and the defense is back to playing their old aggressive quarters when circumstances/Iowa allow them to. The bad news: circumstances may allow them to.



If you or a friend made some good tunes and don't have a label out scrubbing for them we'd be happy to feature you. This week it's WILSON, i.e. a guy named Josh Wilson who sent us the afore-linked album. Songs used: “Captain”, “Ride”, and “World Class”. Also “Across 110th Street”



    WTKA Roundtable 10/5/2017: The Joe Tiller Memorial Gameplan

    WTKA Roundtable 10/5/2017: The Joe Tiller Memorial Gameplan Comment Count

    Seth October 6th, 2017 at 7:33 AM


    [Bryan Fuller]

    Things discussed:

    • State previewed: OL troubles. They look good in Ed’s pass D stats because opponents have missed all of their wide open deep guys.
    • Brian’s gameplan: Don’t run at all. State couldn’t press versus ND and that changed MSU’s ability to swamp the run game. Pick on their safeties all day.
    • State’s gonna run the jet, and run speed options in high-leverage situations. Positive effect from playing Air Force?
    • Lewerke is a good athlete who looks good 60% of the time and looks crazy the rest.
    • Bad week to be without Tarik Black. Pass pro and take deep shots on these guys. DPJ please.
    • James “Doug” Foug versus their guy should give Michigan the special teams edge despite the lack of Peppers.
    • Ed defends Brian’s totally sane suggestion that Michigan go with the Joe Tiller Tribute offense.
    • Offensive line cohesion is a big deal according to an older caller whose great-grandfather used to hang around Hangersturfer’s and listen to Craig talk about strategy when the forward pass was still just a gimmick.
    • Tight end-focused route combinations: get the ball in Zentry’s hands.
    • State gonna test the O’Neill crew’s willingness to flag OPI: they run a ton of pick routes, and their corners want to play up and grabby. Craig believes we’ll get a neutral game because we’ve been talking about these guys so long.
    • Nunez thoughts: reminds Craig of THJ. Very good spot-up shooter, rare among his generation he can shoot an actual jumper. Castleton is a skinny shot-blocker.

    You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

    Segment two is here. Segment three is here.



    Fee Fi Foe Film: Michigan State Offense

    Fee Fi Foe Film: Michigan State Offense Comment Count

    Ace October 5th, 2017 at 4:07 PM

    Previously: Michigan State Defense

    not bad

    Michigan State's offense is still looking to put it all together. Against Notre Dame, the Spartans gained 496 yards but acquired nearly half of them in garbage time, making the outcome look closer than it should've (sound familar?). They also committed two disastrous first-half turnovers, a pick-six by Brian Lewerke and a fumble by LJ Scott right before he crossed ND's goal line, that skewed the outcome in the other direction.

    Then Iowa simply shut MSU down, holding them to 4.1 yards per play and 2.4 yards per non-sack carry. The Spartans managed to beat the Hawkeyes in large part because they won the turnover battle 2-0, but it wasn't pretty.

    Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:

    On the Michigan side, Chase Winovich has sustained his remarkable play long enough to earn a shield, and he should be in for a big day against MSU's young, skinny tackles.

    On the MSU side, right guard David Beedle is questionable after missing last week's game with an undisclosed injury. True freshman Kevin Jarvis, who started last week against Iowa, would take his place if he can't give it a go. Either a banged-up guy who was a sore spot last year or an 18-year-old kid will have to block Maurice Hurst on occasion. That projects to go rather well for Michigan.

    Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? It's a hybrid at this point, for whatever that means. State spends most of their time in the shotgun but will go to more manball-y I-form and heavy Ace formations. They'll bring out an extra OL—usually Chase Gianacokos—on occasion, and not just in short-yardage situations.

    Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? State runs a relatively even mix of inside zone and power. Neither has proven effective. Most of MSU's best runs have been Lewerke keepers or scrambles.

    Hurry it up or grind it out? While MSU is right about average in adjusted tempo, they feel slower than that—they usually huddle up and take their time at the line.

    [Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the breakdown.]


    Wednesday Presser 10-4-17: Brian Smith

    Wednesday Presser 10-4-17: Brian Smith Comment Count

    Adam Schnepp October 5th, 2017 at 9:20 AM



    Pretty pleased with the progress of your group?

    “Yeah, I’m pretty pleased with the progress so far. I think the guys have played well. Gotten off to a good start. Look forward to continuing that this week.”

    What kind of a challenge do the MSU receivers pose to your guys?

    “Well, they face a good challenge. They’re good, solid receivers. They’re young. Felton’s [Davis] coming off a big game against Iowa and he’s a threat down the field. He’s a tall guy so they can throw him the ball and he can come down and get it so he poses a problem and they’ll spread it around a good bit, so we’ve got our hands full.”

    Do you sense a different energy in the building this week or is it business as usual?

    “Obviously we had the extra week of practice last week and were focusing on getting better that week. Call it improvement week. We’ve had two weeks waiting for this game to come so everybody’s ready to go.”

    [Hit THE JUMP for a bit on improving communication in the backfield]