Observations from the Enemy

Submitted by RationalMSUfan on April 19th, 2010 at 12:11 PM

So, I tuned in for a portion of the Spring game on BTN and here are my thoughts:

1. Your team looks like a bunch of girl's softball players. I thought Barwis was supposed to been some kind of strength guru. (I'm a funny guy).

2. The format kind of stunk.

3. QB's - I don't get it. Is Rich Rod purposely fanning the flames on the QB controversy? Denard looked improved, but is it because he really has or because he faced no pass rush and his WR's were wind open against a 2nd string secondary? Tate looked ok given that he was being chased around and was throwing to rookie wideouts.

Put me in the camp of hating platoon situations. Having gone thru one last year, I think it is best to pick one and roll with that person. By game 5 last year, I didn't care if it was Nichol or Cousins, I just wanted Dantonio to fricking pick one. The in and out thing is just brutal to the flow of the offense IMO.

For the record, I think Denard gives you the best chance. Tate has some moxie, but it's not like he throws it downfield a ton. Therefore, I would opt for Denard who can throw the dink and dunk and has the homerun threat that a defense must honor.

I hope RR is dumb enough to play Gardner and blow a redshirt year. (that's a compliment to Gardner by the way).

RB's - Meh. I didn't see anyone that scares me. I think Shaw has the most talent and if I were a UM fan, I would hope that he emerged.

WR's - Didn't seen anything noteworthy. Roundtree continues to perform even though he doesn't wow me with athleticism. Some guys just have that knack.

Defense - Regardless of who is your QB, I think you will score some points. If you guys are going to be improved, the defense is the key. From an MSU perspective, I was happy to learn that Turner is not Charles Woodson. I don't care how improved JT Floyd is, I'm not scared of a Woolfork/Floyd tandem at CB. At safety, if Kovacs is in the game and a RS Freshman convert (I'll believe Gordon is good when I see it in a real game), I like our chances.

Defensive line should be solid with Martin and Van Bergen. I'll believe the Will Campbell hype when he makes some plays in a game.

Anyways, offense looked good. No answers on defense that I saw. We'll see what happens.

Also, I'm not trying to be overly critical of Gordon, JT Floyd and Campbell. I've just learned to not count on guys that perform well in the spring. MSU has had a myriad of heisman trophy winners in Spring practice that suck in the season.



April 19th, 2010 at 1:45 PM ^

yours is not a bad post, my rational brother. (Note no "little." We meet on terms of absolute equality here in the pre-preseason.)

My theory: RR set it up that way to challenge Tate, give Denard confidence and make him look good. I think a bettin' fella is still better off assuming that Forcier is UConn starter, with Denard spelling him more often than last year. . . although (just to contradict myself and undermine any faith in this hypothesis) he might stick Denard in to open with UConn in order to further challenge Tate.

Captain Obvious

April 19th, 2010 at 4:10 PM ^

that you (and others?) think that RR would change around the entire offense/scheme/comfort level with receivers/rhythm on offense/chances for progression for both QBs/team chemistry...in order to provide a teachable moment for Tate by giving Denard more reps with the 1s.

A little Occams Razor here...isn't it more likely that Denard has simply, I don't know, performed better this Spring?


April 19th, 2010 at 1:57 PM ^

I am glad to see some discussion on this thread about running back. It is my largest concern going into next year, even greater then defense. The only back who appears to be able to rumble through a tackle like a Big Ten back is Cox. He showed well in the spring game, but they guy is no Heisman candidate.

I live outside Hartford and I can remember when he got his offer at Avon old farms. It surprised many in the Hartford area, as he was not one of the top rated players. (and being D1 and not rated a top player in CT is rare) After the offer we expected a breakout senior year, which did not happen after he got hurt. He was a Lloyd recruit and I expect the kid to transfer, as he was not a typical spread back.

I have always pulled for the guy, in the way that you pull for the chubby kid on the relay, or the short kid on the basketball court. It is nice to have a CT kid on the team, as it never happens. But to hear him described as a leading back does not excite me. I hope he and the running game excels, but I hope in the way I hope for ten wins.

I suppose I have been spoiled by the talent of Michigan's backfield over the years. You never know how good you have it until . . .


April 19th, 2010 at 3:22 PM ^

I don't think you're giving Mike Cox enough credit. On Rivals, he was a high 3 star, a 5.7 RR. That's what VSmith was, and higher than Stephen Hopkins. He had offers from BC, UConn, Duke and Maryland, and while those aren't crazy offers, they aren't MAC offers either.

He's probably not an early round pick, but he showed last year that he was capable of running the football well, and yes it was against the bad teams we played, he looked very good. I promise you, not every team that played those guys had a RB average 9 yards a carry.

Lastly, Cox is probably not even our best option. He's one of many guys that will be able to do the job this fall.


April 19th, 2010 at 2:16 PM ^

is the marginal improvement of Michigan vs the marginal improvement of MSU.
True frosh Tate put 20 on you in the rain and was one pass from 27 and a win.
Now our O is another year more experienced also with a much improved Denard.
Feel the chill down your spine yet?
Think on that in your darkest cow-tipping dreams and despair!


April 19th, 2010 at 2:50 PM ^

that was AT East Lansing. Now its back to the big house.
I live in Lansing and Kirk Cousins definitely came into my work yesterday.
Just thought it was worth a mention...


April 19th, 2010 at 3:01 PM ^

Why don't I fear Dantonio and the MSU Spartans? Two reasons:

1) Dantonio only managed 6 wins in his 3rd full season as HC for the spartans. (no OSU on the schedule)

2) Dantonio is 40-34 as a D1 head coach.


2004 7-5
2005 4-7
2006 7-5


2007 7-6
2008 9-4
2009 6-7

His record is what it is -- very average.

There are many spartans who point to his recruiting as evidence that he is turning the program into a football powerhouse, but if you look at the numbers, the average rating is 3.2 spots higher than John L Smith's recruiting class average. Dantonio has yet to recruit a class as highly rated as the 2004 class.

John L Smith

2002 39
2003 96
2004 13
2005 40

avg 47


2006 43
2007 51
2008 56
2009 37
2010 32

avg 43.8


April 19th, 2010 at 4:05 PM ^

I also find it funny how every msu fan still thinks our players are so tiny.. and can't compete with the big ten..

So i guess our O-Line and D-Line average weight being over 300 lbs 6 months before our first game is still too small for the big ten? How big are they suppose to be? 315 avg? 320? lol.. cause please show me where MSU averages that..

I sure hope MSU can beat a ranked team this year other than us. It will mark their first win vs a ranked team since 2005, other than UM


April 19th, 2010 at 8:12 PM ^

by chance, wearing a State shirt were you? I saw one in attendance. IMO, that is tacky as all hell.

Also saw a kid wearing an OSU jersey. Also tacky, but at least he was 15-ish. The MSU fan was 30-ish.