Pessism and Optimism for MSU Game

Submitted by michman79 on September 26th, 2009 at 10:37 PM

1. Our pass rush has been below average through 4 games and we need it against a pretty solid pass offense this week.

2. We have come out flat at home the past 2 weeks and can't afford a slow start Saturday in our first road game.

3. Tate's health

4. MSU is much better than their record indicates.

5. Offensive Line lacked cohesiveness today and clearly isn't the same O-line from the first 3 weeks.

6. MSU is against the ropes and needs this win more than Charlie Weis needs some ruffage in his diet.

Reasons to be optimistic:

1. Despite adversity, Michigan is finding ways to win and MSU is finding ways to lose.

2. Stonum and KO return team look like they could bounce one at any given moment.

3. Rushing attack is dynamic although not as much this week with the new O-line configuration.

4. Defense hasn't been great but showed great heart in quick changes today holding IU to field goals vs. TD's.

5. If we have to punt, Zoltan will shift field position by 95 yards on average.

Just some feelings without statistical analysis but I am very concrned about a young team going on the road to a hostile environment for the first time this season. This is a big one. Iowa, OSU, and PSU all look very good with a big "unknown" attached to Wiscy.

We need a win this week to gain some confidence in our first big conference road game.



September 26th, 2009 at 10:45 PM ^

We're 4-0.

I could give half a crap how we get there, but if Michigan is 5-0 after Saturday, it doesn't matter how it happened. We're on the verge of playing with house money with this season.

OSUMC Wolverine

September 26th, 2009 at 10:45 PM ^

Only optimism here. As long as our players believe they can win, and they apparently do, we can. We should be able to hang 35+ pts on MSU and I think we can hold them below 30. Again it may not be pretty, but a win is a win. I know we are all waiting for the Cinderella story to end, but the opposite could also happen. Who is to say that we won't hang a 30+ pt blowout on MSU, Iowa, or both. It may not be likely, but neither was a 4-0 start. It's a fun season to watch for sure, and it is only going to get better.


September 26th, 2009 at 10:51 PM ^

Optimism - team has an identity, competent players at the skill positions, and a sense that they can win games even when things are going wrong.

As for MSU, I don't think they are much better than a .500 team in the Big 10. Yes, they were the third best team in the Big 10 last year by record, but last year was one of the worst in the Big 10 in recent memory.


September 26th, 2009 at 10:56 PM ^

I think we will need the offense of ND and the defense of Western to show up for our big games. Lst 2 weeks have been a little flat overall but as the scoreboard states, we are 4-0 and this team is finding ways to win. I like Michigan 38-34 sending Sparty into a tailspin 5-7 season.


September 26th, 2009 at 11:05 PM ^

To hell with Big Ten meatgrinding football, let's win 59-52 and have some fun this year.

These kids are playing hard and winning games in the most dramatic of fashions. It's going to be loads of fun to watch the 2009 Michigan Wolverines.


September 26th, 2009 at 11:07 PM ^

I almost got a sense of a little looking past Indiana today. Heck, even I was guilty of doing so this morning. I know the defense was pretty porous, and the offense looked lethargic, but I'm not sure how significant that was to this game in particular.

I'm hopeful for next week, or maybe cautiously optimistic, but I don't know that there's a good way to look at this week, or the week before and say anything definitive. Well, besides Carlos Brown will score a touchdown. I will say that with some certainty...


September 26th, 2009 at 11:24 PM ^

Is that everyone comes ready to play Michigan. It doesn't matter if Michigan doesn't look like they could beat the Sisters of Mercy (i.e. last season). It's still Michigan, and other teams want to beat UM bad, if for no other reason than shear pride.

Coaches do what they have to do to get players in the right frame of mind. You can also lead a horse to water, but ....

Next week, I expect both sides will come out, guns a'blazing. Who will win? Here's what an old English teacher of mine (himself a Spartan fan) once told me:

"It doesn't matter who wins or loses. It just matters who you root for!"



The Other Brian

September 26th, 2009 at 11:26 PM ^

The bad: Our D pretty much sucks.

The good: MSU's defense honestly might be worse.

The bad: MSU is the kind of team that can maul our front seven despite being a shitty running team.

The good: Pat Narduzzi coaches MSU's defense, and he is clueless against the spread and his players can't tackle a Pop Warner team.

The bad: It's on the road.

The good: It's a noon start...and we're gonna win.


September 26th, 2009 at 11:36 PM ^

"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."
Muhammad Ali



September 26th, 2009 at 11:40 PM ^

I'm optimistic I will end up cursing Obi Ezeh's instincts at least once in the game, and will generally be pissed off wherever I am watching. However, we just might eke it out. Pretty optimistic about our offense if we can HOLD ON TO THE DAMN BALL.

Our defense will be face palm for much of the day. Almost certain.

Honestly, I'd be very surprised if I were a neutral if Blue won if for no other reason than MSU is playing for their freaking season. They can't start 1-4 with a loss to their sun (yes, their football orbits around us. Tell me this: Does MSU prefer a 7-5 season where they beat us and we finish 6-6? Or do they prefer a 9-3 season where they lose to us and we finish 10-2?)

Anyway, I'll be optimistic because this is practically house money and there's no sense in hand wringing. We were 3-9 last year, and now we're 4-0 and fun to watch.


September 27th, 2009 at 12:00 AM ^

Nobody, myself included, is used to Michigan scoring 35+ points a game. What the heck, this is a lot better than last year. I guess it will be this way the whole season. Like RR says, "Neat."


September 27th, 2009 at 12:05 AM ^

We all have seen this before. UM doing well, MSU underachieving. At home, they will probably play over their heads and give us their best game. It will be a great test for our young team.


September 27th, 2009 at 12:28 AM ^

I definitely agree. MSU is doing their usual dizzy SPARTY NO! tailspin of death and Michigan is playing fairly well. MSU will come out and give their best efforts right off the bat. The trick is to get em down early and they should fold up quick. If they do, you know it is definitely the same old spartans...


September 27th, 2009 at 12:09 AM ^

the play on the field is improved. Mooseman will surely be better next week. This was his first start and he tried to do too much to on a couple of plays. This game was clearly the worst of the season, but what bothered me most was that we completely went away from Brown and Minor. When we run we are gashing fools. We went away from that our offense didn't do much. I think we will be jacked up this weekend, because regardless of their record, they aren't terrible. Tough test, hope the d arrives.


September 27th, 2009 at 12:16 AM ^

Tate is 100 percent for the MSU game we have reason to be relatively optimistic. I had a chance to re-watch the entire game and made the following assesments going forward:

1) Mooseman can only get better with his shotgun snap with a new week of practice and a much higher emphasis of his placement.

2) Even with all of the botched snaps and drive killing freshmen mistakes we managed to score 36 points and get the feeling that had the bad snaps never taken place a few more trips to the endzone would have ensued.

3) Although he's taking baby steps Denard Robinson continues to show defenses that he is not just a running threat. I think Michigan is setting something up with him to make some big plays in the passing game at some point.

4) Defensive halftime adjustments once again helped us hold Indiana to just 10 points in the second half after allowing 23 in the first. Not to mention Indiana's lone second half touchdown was the long run that Michigan just happened to call the absolute worst play defensively for.

5) The Kick Return game, and in particular D. Stonum looked like he could take one deep at any moment. I won't be surprised at all if we have 2-3 more kick returns for Touchdowns this year.

6) Michigan turned the ball over twice to none for Indiana until Warrens game winning INT on the last drive. Again take those Turnovers off the board and maybe we had more points the other way.

I'm sure there are a few more things to be optimistic about heading into next Saturday. After watching every minute of every game this year I think this is about as much of a toss up game as I thought Notre Dame would be. I think offensively we can score on anyone so as long as we're executing and we don't make bone head plays or botch several snaps then we're right in the football game no matter what happens defensively. I'm interested to see the UFR and + and -'s from this game. Thank god for Tate Forcier. Stay positive Michigan faithful for we are already playing with house money improving our win total for 08 through 4 games in 09.