Previously: Michigan State Defense
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.]