Predictions about this Week's Game v. Sparty

Submitted by xtramelanin on October 14th, 2018 at 7:58 AM


Like everyone here, I was very glad to see so much of our team's play last night against a highly ranked opponent.  The game plan, multiple players at QB, shut-down defense, so much to love.  That said, we're going to EL this week and give Dantonio his due, he can coach and his hate (and steroid) infused team is going to be flying high after a dramatic win in Happy Valley.  Not going to be easy. 

So the question is pretty simple:  What is your prediction for this week's game vs. MSU?

bonus check out question:  Would you be willing to contribute to a fund to save EL furniture from the fires of hades that will happen, win or lose, on Saturday? 

Go Blue,




October 14th, 2018 at 8:02 AM ^

It’s probably going to be another 17-14 type game. Dantonio will have more trick plays stored up for us, we will struggle to run the ball on them (would love to be wrong on that one), their OL that couldn’t block for crap will suddenly look decent, because they always play their best vs us. Going to be tight and we have to come out swinging from the start and take an early lead if we want to win. 


October 14th, 2018 at 9:47 AM ^

I expect a boat load of holding by their O-line as to contain our far superior front 7.  If it gets called early and backs them up, we should be able to force them in to shit situations.

if most the holding calls are ignored. As has been the case for us under B1G officiating, especially on the road, I expect a nail biter.


October 14th, 2018 at 10:03 AM ^

This generally, though let's not ignore the fact that had PSU been coached by someone other than Franklin they probably win this game comfortably and MSU is limping into this game.  They still can't run the ball, they gave up over 200 yards on the ground, and despite throwing the ball 53 times didn't crack 309 passing yards, and that included a RB pass.

They are a mediocre team, and busted out a lot of trickery to beat PSU.  They'll be tough, but this is still a fundamentally flawed team and I don't see Michigan giving them enough to sustain long drives.


October 14th, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

I agree with your assessment. What's more, MSU is an extremely beat-up team. They are down to third string backs and receivers with almost no experience. MSU's offensive capability is severely limited in both fact and function regardless of rivalry motivation. Consider its Oline was in a sixth week starting incarnation on Saturday, that's not a recipe on any level for sustained growth and efficient production, and given the status of their wounded warrior offense, I don't expect it to fare well against Michigan's dominating defense.

Leave MSU's defense on the field too often, and I don't care about how well their front seven rates in stopping the run, it doesn't have the rotation pieces to defend a diverse attack against Michigan's hybrid run game and deep passing capability.

Sparty simply can't afford to get behind by more than a single score because it just doesn't have the offensive firepower to keep up in a high scoring game. The only reason it won last year was because of weather conditions and poor Michigan qb play. Shea Patterson makes a huge difference in how Michigan operates and its ability to strike from any point on the field.

Finally, MSU isn't as good as Wisconsin on paper or in Oline execution, Lewarke is more mobile than Honibrook, but he is more apt to turn the ball over, and once you make their offense one-dimensional, Michigan's pass defense will limit whatever their injury-riddled attack can mount no matter how fueled with Dantonio trickery and no respect, chip-on-the-shoulder motivation they muster.



October 14th, 2018 at 8:07 AM ^

Not sure if MSU comes in with more confidence than they should..still not impressed with them. Always expect the best from them in this game though. I feel like our boys come in fired up and ready to roll. Need a complete game and a good start that’s for sure. Big Win for Meechigan!


October 14th, 2018 at 8:33 AM ^

That’s Sparty’s game. They drag you into the mud and want to play. Rarely looks impressive but have found a knack for winning those games. We’ll have a few wrinkles in the game as well for them. Michigan still has to prove they can play on the road. NW was a win but they definitely struggled to get things started. Same way at ND. Michigan is getting better each week and expect them to stay on that line. Tough close loss on the road. Tough close win on the road. Here’s to a tough yet somewhat comfortable win in the progression. 

I Love Lamp

October 14th, 2018 at 10:14 AM ^

I agree with you.  PSU fell victim, like many, many others have done, to playing that irritating Sparty game.  It’s amazing to me how Dantonio can dictate style of play during games.  I mentioned yesterday how much I admire Fitz for not falling into that trap with MSU.  He attacks them and his results against them speak for themselves.

I was very encouraged to see us attacking Wisc through the air right away, which was their weakness, and I’m hoping that continues next week vs MSU. 

Hopefully we find a way to get it done, because this streak has been ridiculous.  As a resident of the greater lansing area, like so many others on here, it would be nice to have the local mouth breathers shut their traps for a year.  


gustave ferbert

October 14th, 2018 at 8:46 AM ^

I wonder how much of yesterday's sparty win had to with them playing well and pulling out all the stops to win the game versus a deflated Penn State team still stinging from their lost to o$U.


If we can manage the slow start unlike Northwestern where they don't jump out to a lead.  I think we win easily.  But if we have to come from behind, I believe our defense is good enough and our offense is good enough now to come back.

And it would be really helpful if Nordin does a lot better than he did last night. 




October 14th, 2018 at 9:03 AM ^

“Deflated” probably isn’t the right word, but I would go with “not looking for a fight.”  I thought the game would go one of two ways, either State was going to lay down and get absolutely hammered (it was unclear to me if they had like locker room stuff, give up factor, it was clear early on that wasn’t the case), or they would Sparty their way to a really close win.  I thought Penn State lost a lot of luster when they blew that lead to OSU and would fold in a close game and sure enough they did.   Franklin is not a good coach and their offense looks nuetered after losing Morehead.


October 14th, 2018 at 9:39 AM ^

Let's go with, they suck in non Whiteout games. The crowd probably didn't take Sparty seriously, and it manifested. They thought they would have the revenge factor, and came out a little flat, and it's hard to just "get up" once a game starts. I thought it was over when Dantonio went for the fake FG, but Penn St. couldn't make them pay for it. Penn St. probably isn't as good as we thought, and MSU probably isn't as bad. 


October 14th, 2018 at 8:07 AM ^

Seems to me Dantonio burned a few of his annual “Michigan plays” yesterday. So that’s one positive. With that being said, if we win it’ll be an absolute dogfight. While PSU played pretty bad, MSU looked good Saturday. Hopefully Don Brown has something cooked up to stop the QB run. Lewerke hasn’t ran much all year but you already know he’ll be pulling his best Mike Vick impression Saturday.


October 14th, 2018 at 8:14 AM ^

I think he will have a couple for us anyway, the trick plays. I know what we will see a lot or in a key down and that is that jet sweep. It's been hurting us this year and you know he will call that one a couple times add in a couple 50 / 50 deep passes and we are in for a fight again.


October 14th, 2018 at 10:04 AM ^

Michigan is the better team.

If it were just an ordinary matchup, I would expect Michigan to get that big road win the program has been desperate for...

...but with the Sparty disrespekt/little brother/Dantonio factor...

...I have no idea what to expect!

I won't be surprised by whatever happens: UM by 3 or 20...MSU by 3 or 20. It's all within the realm of possibility.


October 14th, 2018 at 8:34 AM ^

Give MSU credit winning at PSU. Give Dantonio credit for getting his team ready and believing they could win after the Northwestern loss.  However, Franklin is a good recruiter but may be one of the worst in game coaches in the B1G.

I expect a similar game at MSU as M just had last night.  Kind of a slug fight early then Michigan coaching staff sees what MSU is giving the Offense and start taking it.  Be it RPO with QB zone read, TE's over middle or deep, power I, sprint draw, bubble screen, tailback screen play's (with Evans) ,WR posts, slants or outs.  Give the coaching staff the first quarter to make adjustments and plays start clicking.

Even though the "trick" plays were not effective last night, they were effective for this Saturday. Putting those on tape gave MSU one more thing to prepare for and will likely be seen again in future. That play with McCaffery in motion WILL end up with McCaffery taking the ball and passing. Maybe next week, maybe at OSU, but rest assured, that play will come back with a much different result.

That comeback win vs Northwestern was monumental.  Not because they came back against NW, but because they came back on road.


October 14th, 2018 at 8:39 AM ^

We will shut them down - question will be how much our offense can get us. Their run game is atrocious and most of their WRs and a chunk of their OL are hurt.

Ultimately I think we win by a couple scores, like 28-13. Penn State ran for 205 yards against MSU, and we have a better rush offense than PSU. I don't know that we will get to 205, but we certainly won't be held to the 40ish yards their opponents had average pre-PSU.

Lewerke's not good. He might throw the ball 50 times, and I don't think that's a great gameplan against our pass rush and secondary. They'll obviously have some tricks up their sleeve for us which should be good for some yards and maybe some points. Our offense got us 30 in 2016, I think we can basically replicate that. 28 or 30 to 13.


October 14th, 2018 at 9:09 AM ^

Yeah, I mean, it's certainly the latter for me, just look at the box score. Penn State (6.2) was a yard and a half better than MSU (4.7) on a per play basis and they were even in turnovers. It was just another one of those MSU games where it doesn't really make sense that they won, they just did.

Penn State had the most success on the ground of any team against MSU, so naturally Franklin decided to throw the ball as much as he ran it, despite their ypc being better than their ypa.

That's why I don't really like the "of course they look competent now!!" line. Not really - they're still the team that got dominated by Northwestern at home last week. Penn State played flat, but still good enough to win, they just shit the bed. MSU is still not a good offense - App State, Illinois, and OSU all scored more in Happy Valley. MSU's run defense got gashed - certainly we can do that to some degree. Shea will be the best QB that MSU's defense has seen (by passer rating even if you don't believe that as an observational, subjective perspective).


October 14th, 2018 at 9:28 AM ^

PSU doesn't know how to finish because Franklin sucks as a head coach.  They choke constantly - at some point that has to be laid at the HC's feet.  He panics in tight situations, you can see his butt clenching on big plays when the score is close.  They got lucky to beat App St in OT, that was an athlete deal.  Against equal competition, betting against James Franklin in a close game is a good bet.


October 14th, 2018 at 10:11 AM ^

Franklin did the same dumb thing we did three years again. Tried to drain the clock with nothing but run plays against a very good run defense, got stopped on downs and had to punt. Every coach in creation seems to get a tight sphincter at the prospect of throwing a pass to get a first down in that situation, 'cause OMG if it's incomplete, the clock stops and I'll get second guessed! I have seen SO many games, college and pro, lost by that kind of conservative play with a lead at the end of the game.


October 14th, 2018 at 8:45 AM ^

Naturally MSU finally starts to look competent right before we play them. It's probably going to be a slog and it wouldn't surprise me if MSU found a way to win. Gonna have the have a gameplan like we had the 1st half last night - pass, pass, pass, pass


October 14th, 2018 at 8:45 AM ^

It will be close for a quarter or two. UM will pull away for a comfortable win.

I think there are too many guys on the roster who won't let this game get by them. I know damn well Harbaugh is aware of the record against MSU even though he acts oblivious. I think we are the team with a chip on the shoulder.

If the are prepared and motivated it should be another good day.


October 14th, 2018 at 8:48 AM ^

Jim reminds these guys what happened last year. Change the taste of victory from last night to bitterness and come with full fury against MSU. This one has been circled by the players I think, just based on last year and the sense that these guys really wanna bury them. MSU continues to struggle on the ground and Lewerke throws a couple of picks. 34-13 Michigan. Just think we put physical them and we run away with it like we did last night. 

Perkis-Size Me

October 14th, 2018 at 8:54 AM ^

It’s going to be close. A hell of a lot closer than last night’s game. I’m not sure yet exactly how good MSU is, but they’re saving their best for us. Dantonio has written up trick plays just for this game, their awful OL will probably be at least decent next week because, again, we ALWAYS get their best game. Lewerke is going to look sharp next week, and we’re going to have a very hard time running the ball. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, especially now that MSU has pretty much everything to play for again.

One thing I do know, though: this team will not have any lack of motivation going into EL. They remember last year’s debacle. They’ll be ready to play. Beyond that, I’m not predicting anything about who will win. Dantonio has a long history of making his doubters look like fools. The game will probably end with a score of 21-17 or 17-14. Who wins is anyone’s guess.