Sparty Depth Chart vs. Michigan [Dion Sims not listed]

Submitted by PitchAndCatch on October 16th, 2012 at 11:22 AM

MSU's depth chart was just released for this week, and one thing that really stands out is the fact that Dion Sims is nowhere to be found.  Think this is just a bit of gamesmanship from Dantonio, or do you really think he won't be playing?  Kittredge is also ahead of Reynolds at DT which is a changeup.  Anything else surprising?


Beat Sparty.


Darth Wolverine

October 16th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

That belief is so overrated. The win is the most important thing when it comes to sports. If a player or players miss the game due to injuries and their team loses, who cares what the idiot fans say? I will be glad if Sims doesn't play because that gives M a greater chance to win. I also hope Bell misses the game.


October 16th, 2012 at 11:59 AM ^

It's rather clear now that the Spartans have had considerable problems replacing the presence that was Jerel Worthy, as well as Kevin Pickelman. White and Kittredge have only 1 sack and 3 TFL to their combined credit, which is a dramatic fall from the Worthy-Pickelman combination. Reynolds has no sacks and 1 TFL, so I don't doubt that they are just trying to see if someone - anyone - can suddenly play inspired and bring pressure out there, because the pressure is what has been sorely lacking this year, it seems. The options after these guys are a freshman and Tyler Hoover, who has only been in parts of three games and is also not 100%, I believe (calf injury, I read).


October 16th, 2012 at 12:53 PM ^

In fact, have always loved your avatar. And your occasional presence at mgoblog.

So, here's a question for you. Every now and then I hear disparaging comments about the Red Cedar Message Board. I could go over there to find out. However, because I'm lazy, and because you are a Spartan partisan, who presumably also frequents RCMB, can you comment with your perspective on the two blogs? Regards.

death by trident

October 16th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

I can comment from my perspective as a Michigan fan.  I don't read RCMB other than to get an occasional chuckle.  When I look for Spartan based information I go to the one that is linked in the 'Big Ten Blogs' section on mgoblog.

The Only Colors

RCMB is a message board, and gets a ton of traffic. It isn't very heavily moderated, and is often filled with inflammatory comments.

The Only Colors is actually very good, and provides a lot of features similar to what you would expect here on mgoblog.


October 16th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

This pretty much sums it up. RCMB is good for a few laughs here and there but it is by no means a site to go to for technical football insight. Most of the technical content (recruiting news, player development, etc) is all accessible via a paid membership. TOC would be the MGoBlog-esque equivalent website for Spartan fans.


October 16th, 2012 at 12:00 PM ^

I still am expecting a 2010 Justin Siller type thing out of Sims.  You know when Purdue ran him out to start even though he was clearly not ready, and then two steps into his first play pulls up lame.


October 16th, 2012 at 12:01 PM ^

Considering his strong year at Tennessee and MSU's receiving corps, I'm surprised DeAnthony hasn't made a move up the chart. He doesn't even get the courtesy "OR" designation. Yikes.


October 16th, 2012 at 12:02 PM ^

MSU WR have been bad outside of burbridge. What happened to Arnett? The only think I can even think of is he hasn't learned the playbook but Burbridge has been in the system just as long. Kind of interesting he hasn't seen the field more.


October 16th, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

I really hope you guys run Roushar out of town, because I think he's a very good OC.  Results have been terrible this year because you don't have the personnel.  But last year with Cousins, there were all kinds of (maddeningly) great play calls, with first options being open deep down the field. 

My guess is that Maxwell executes better in practice than he has so far on the field, so a lot of the plays they're going for aren't there due to inexperience/nerves.  My hope is that he's just not a gamer.  Doesn't help with WR's being horrible, and a patchwork OL.


October 16th, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

It's probably a combination of the 4 (Maxwell, WRs, OL, and OC). You can see a noticeable lack of creativity in the offense in the past 2 years vs Treadwell the years before. Right now it seems like the offense is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Last year, this worked because the holes were also square. This year he is not adjusting to the personnel.

In the Iowa game, MSU ball leading by 7, 4 minutes and change to play in regulation. First play, rush to Bell gain of 5. 2nd play, incomplete pass, 3rd play incomplete pass. He could have run these same plays last year and attained success because of his personnel, but he thinks he can force them in this year and it's just not working.

I think Dantonio may have the inverse of the Rich Rod problem you guys had a few years back. Dantonio is a defensive minded coach who just relies on the coordinator to run the offense.


October 16th, 2012 at 5:44 PM ^

What are your thoughts on next year for the Spartan offense? Senior qb, senior Bell, Lawrence Thomas likely playing Oline being already 295 pounds, senior Sims, and highly rated receivers Deanthony Arnett and Aaron Burbridge. Any faith in them gelling and being more effective, or does it all hinge on the Coordinator and Oline?


October 16th, 2012 at 6:25 PM ^

I'll give you my take.  I think it hinges on what Bell and Gholston do - leave early, or return for their senior year.  Both of those guys will have a shot at the NFL after this fall, so what they do will be the determining factor. 

If they come back, MSU should bounce back well, since they'll be returning a large chunk of their starters.  They only have two senior starters on O right now, unfortunately they're both on the OL where things are already thin.  Without Bell and without a good OL, the Sparty offense might still be bad even with all the talent in the passing game. 

On D, they have three senior starters, one each at DL, LB and DB.  However, they also lose Tyler Hoover, a contributor inside, so if Gholston leaves, the DL could be in trouble.  The back 7 will be good for sure, but like on offense, it's their weakest spot that will be getting weaker in 2013, and without any bulk up front, it won't matter much how good the back 7 is. 

Take a look at how MSU has recruited at OL and DT the last few years, and these problems will be less of a surprise.  The games are won in the trenches, and Sparty is stuck with 10 awesome wide receivers.


October 16th, 2012 at 8:17 PM ^

I generally agree. Fonoti may get a medical redshirt since he went down for the season in the ND game I believe, so he should return, which yields only 1 senior departure on the OL. So far, the OL has been statistically performing about the same as last year, so if the same group returns I would expect about the same results from them.

Overall, the offense will probably be pretty vanilla if the coaches don't make a change, while the defense should be good enough to keep them in games.

I see Coach D having a very Tressel-like philosophy in building a football team: have a game managing type offense with solid field goal kicking, and a defense that can keep you in games. Over 2010-2011 seasons MSU was 6-1 in games decided by 3 points or less.

Question for the UM D: I watched pieces of the Illinois game replay and from the plays that I saw, I didn't really see the D-Line getting the push I was expecting them to have (the linebackers were all over the place though). How do you see your D Line next year with the senior departures and young people filling in?

It's always a pleasure chatting with you guys. Thanks for being good hosts.


October 18th, 2012 at 2:21 AM ^

The DLine isn't what it was last year. Mike Martin was incredibly effective at being disruptive, demanding double teams, and getting into the backfield. This years line is getting pretty fundamentally sound as the season wears on, though. They aren't doing anything very glamourous, but they're demanding double teams to free up the linebackers, getting stronger on their technique, stopping the run, and moving to the ball better each game. Brian has done some very good and relatively honest UFR writeups on individual players and units from game to game. Haven't noticed one for Illinois yet, but they did shut them out so high marks for everybody that day.

Summarys follow at the bottom of each article. Craig Roh, Jake Ryan, and Thomas Gordon have been consistantly our best defenders, but the others are catching up fast. Ends Roh and Clark are really starting to come into their own, MLB Demens has been awesome in pass coverage for 4 straight games now, Washington and Black have put together some good games, and Campbell has had some lousy games, some neutral games, and two monster games, but the interior is still struggling with consistancy. They can make great plays, or have monster games, but they aren't stringing them all together yet.


October 16th, 2012 at 11:00 PM ^

My take:

I think the offense will be better than this year (obviously, hard to be worse). A senior Maxwell will allow Roushar to open up the playbook and some experienced WRs and clear-cut starters should help with that as well. I think going into next year you have Aaron Burbridge and Keith Mumphrey at your 1 and 2 WRs and then the 3rd one up for grabs, which should help Maxwell out knowing his 1 and 2 WRs. 

LT will most likely stay at FB. He's quick for 295 and I don't think he will gain any more weight. Remember, he gained all that weight his Freshman year where he couldn't even practice because of an injury. Don't be surprised if he plays a little TE though. He can definitely catch and played TE in HS. 

Bell is all but gone IMO. as much as i want him back, he'd be stupid not to leave. I think he's a surefire 2nd round pick, if not 1st round. Leads the nation in Yards After Contact and Broken Tackles, which is what NFL typically looks for in RBs. 

Gholston will be back IMO. He hasnt done much this year and I think he wants to stay for 4 years. Sims is a question mark, he's definitely a top 5 TE, but is that enough for a solid draft pick?

As for the O-line, Chris McDonald (Starting RG) and Ethan Ruhland (Backup, now starter, at C) are seniors. We'll get Fou Fonoti (RT and the leader of the OL) back and Travis Jackson (Starting C) back from injury next year. It honestly comes down to injuries though. Fonoti went down before the ND game, and Jackson went down in the OSU game. Burkland has also been playing through an injury. I think we would have a decent O-line if healthy, but we lost 2 starters to injury last year, so i'm not going to bank on being healthy next year. 

Biggest Question next year will be RB. After Bell and Caper who could both be gone after this year, its.. Nick Hill? Jeremy Langford? Then a bunch of RS and True Freshmen. 


October 16th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

Thomas is listed as an OR for starting fullback.

I thought he was the NEXT stud De for state. When did he switch to offense? Is he any good?


October 16th, 2012 at 5:08 PM ^

Switched to offense in the CMU game. He wasn't good enough to break the 2-deeps at DE with Gholston (JR), Rush (Soph), Calhoun (RS Fresh), and Heath (RS Fresh) all in there and probably not leaving for a while. I think he's great at fullback. Hits hard when he blocks and can catch passes.


Is it sad that LeVeon Bell and Lawrence Thomas are the only two guys on offense I've never seen getting beat when they pick up a block? 


October 16th, 2012 at 5:35 PM ^

Don't worry, if Lawrence Thomas keeps putting on weight at this rate, he'll be a guard by bowl season.

EDIT:  If there is a bowl season for MSU this year.  They need two more wins, and looking at their schedule, that might not happen.  Their next games are Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, Minnesota.  They could lose their next four, and if they do, no bowling.  If they lose three of their next four, @Minnesota is make or break to get to .500.  Wowzers.