State Game & Snap Count

Submitted by StephenRKass on October 4th, 2010 at 1:06 PM

IIRC, we got creamed at the LOS last year by State. This was caused by at least 3 things:

  1. Inexperienced Offensive Line.
  2. Loss of Molk.
  3. Predictability of snap count.

We obviously have a great OL. In fact, I give our OL a lot of credit for Denard's emergence, and for our team's performance. I think the Smith TD and the Toussaint run vs. BG go to the OL. Even with Denard's great ability, he has had some huge holes to run through. I think our OL will do a much better job keeping State off of Denard.

Also, with Molk snapping, and the rapport built between Molk and Denard, there is a much higher comfort level. Molk is a great center, and has been a huge part of the OL performance.

However, does anyone know what we have done to address the snap count issue? I think that State really prepared extensively for last year's Michigan game, and we got burned with their DL and LB being able to time the snap count. Do the coach's have the ability to change the predictability of the count, and will Molk and Denard be able to execute what the coaches want, so that State can't crash the line the same way this year?



October 4th, 2010 at 1:25 PM ^

Yes, I think this pretty much covers the snap-jumping concerns; as long as some shameful shit doesn't go down wherein tons of Sparties show up and make the Big House sound like an MSU game at Crisler.

But, since you've taken the liberty of starting a new thread, I'd like to hijack it as high up as possible and bring up my main concern for the weekend, which is horrible thuggish Shoelace-twisting hijinks.  

DRob is obviously every team's biggest fear/enemy/target all day long; apparently IU's crowd was screaming for blood, and he did say that opposing players (from UMass?) were already trying to steal his shoes... does anybody put it even one millimeter past Sparty to try and twist ankles and mess with sore knees at the bottom of a pile?  And, is there anything Michigan's staff can do in terms of telling the refs to look out for misbehavior and deliver swift harsh punishment for any inappropriate extracurricular activity?  


October 4th, 2010 at 8:14 PM ^

I swear to God if State tries any cheap plays with Denard or any of our players  I'm gonna lose it. They already piss me off. Last week an Indiana defender lifted Denard while his teammates gang-tackled him and not to mention whenever Denard got tackled and even when he got hurt, Indiana's crowd cheered. I'm sorry but if you have to intentionally hurt a player to improve your chances of winning you're a horrible team reguardless of record.


October 4th, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

Cheap hits like those usually happen when you see big piles up near the line of scrimmage, and those are the types of situations Denard rarely finds himself in.  If Sparty gets the chance though, I would almost guarantee they do it.  If its happening I'm not sure what Michigan can do outside of telling the refs to watch for it more closely.  I'm sure Lewan will have something to say though if he notices those shenanigans going on while he is on the field.  


October 4th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

Just one question . . . are you for real or do I need to turn my sarcasm meter on? (I'm never sure whether I have my meter on high enough.)

Seriously, while I hope Denard stays healthy, I also hope that opposing teams and players don't try to "take him out" in a deliberate, dirty way.

How often have they caught a deliberate foul like this? And do they ban someone or have a very serious consequence for this kind of behavior?


October 4th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

I guess maybe I'm just dumb, but I wouldn't think that an actual player would try and intentionally injure an opponent.  I mean, it's not like the RCMB plays for MSU.  Just because the fan base is a bunch of knobs doesn't mean the team is similarly aligned.

I don't know.


October 5th, 2010 at 12:21 AM ^

Haven't you ever heard the ref, "Personal foul, defense, acting like a Spartan"?  They will not just try to knock Denard out of the game, they'll try to hurt him.  This is Sparty-Little Brother-mega-inferiority complex we're talking .  This is not just a rivalry game, this is their entire season. They'll do anything to win.


October 4th, 2010 at 2:17 PM ^

I would hope that knowing this is a rivalry game, the officials will know to look for it. However, I would expect that the players are smarter than that and would play with more class.

I wouldn't put it past them that they would attempt something stupid like that, but being on the road they need to know that everyone in the stadium will be rooting against them and they won't get away with much.


October 4th, 2010 at 8:17 PM ^

Seeing as half their team has been in jail at some point in time, I don't think they have a very good understanding of what is or is not acceptable whether on the field of off.

I find it sad that teams (whether condoned by the coach or not) resort to cheap shots and shady tactics in order to win a game. Personally, I'd rather play to the best of my ability and let the truly better prepared and more athletic team win (whether my own or not).


October 4th, 2010 at 1:16 PM ^

I think we got at least one offsides call against Indiana from them trying to jump the snap count. However, I'm not sure if that means (a) our snap count is sufficiently random that trying to jump it was a punishment, or (b) we're mostly predictable and we happened to get lucky.

Obviously everyone tries to figure out and jump the opponent's snap, so maybe it's a little of both. Hopefully our coaches remember last year and have been saving up their snap-count-ju-jitsu for debut this week.

Hard Gay

October 4th, 2010 at 1:52 PM ^

yeah i remember that being a big talking point after the 08 MSU game.  But back then, the QBs would clap their hands to signal that they're ready then Molk would snap it shortly after.  MSU was able to time that delay and get jumps, but later on in that game Molk would delay the snap a little bit and we got a couple offsides calls.  

At home, the ball is snapped right when Denard says "go" so timing shouldn't be as much of a problem.


October 4th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

Our snap count consists of Molk looking through his legs while Denard surveys the defense and looks to the sideline to confirm the call.  When the play is set and Denard is ready, Denard lifts his leg as a signal to the center to snap the ball.  Molk then sets and snaps.  

I am not sure, but I think it is up to Molk to determine how long until he snaps the ball (more experienced football guys can correct me if I am wrong).  If he just snaps after setting himself, then it is easy to jump the count.  I think he needs to vary his timing a little bit to throw State off.  It may be hard to do that since the offense wants to go and you don't want Denard waiting for the ball too long back there.  


October 4th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

A lot was made about this last year and it had some traction. I think you have to look at the situations of the setting of the game last year. Michigan was 4-0 and MSU was 1-3 heading into that game at Michigan State.

On top of it being a rivalry game, it was a must-win for them at home. They tried to take every advantage they could in order to win, and that probably included a little more time in the film room to see what they could do.

This year is going to be different. With both teams undefeated and playing at Michigan, and the last two games won by the Spartans, I believe it's not as high of a priority as last years game to MSU. They'll still want it as always, but they have an air of arrogance I've noticed. We have a chip on our shoulder and I think that will definitely be to our advantage.


October 4th, 2010 at 6:57 PM ^

It won't be a problem this year.  In our road games (ND and Indiana) we have used a silent snap; Robinson will lift his leg to let Molk know he is ready and then Molk snaps the ball.  This was also the case in all the road games last year.

In 2007, the QB would clap his hand to let Molk know when to snap the ball (this happened in both home and away games). 

This year at home, the QBs use a full cadence and yell "Go" to let Molk know to snap the ball.  If MSU starts jumping the snap count, it's not all that difficult to have Molk snap the ball on the 2nd or 3rd "Go".

Again, I wouldn't worry too much about MSU getting a headstart on our snaps.  If the game were at Spartan Stadium, maybe you would have a point.

Zone Left

October 4th, 2010 at 9:51 PM ^

You're right about the silent count on the road, although I think the staff has fixed the problem simply by having Molk hold the ball for varying lengths of time.  Every shotgun based team runs a silent count in loud atmospheres, so I think it was on the center for being too obvious in 2009.

Also, don't remind me of the clapping.  So, so awful.