Friday, October 16, 2015

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Michigan State

Here's to hoping I'm laughing like this big brother come Saturday afternoon

Reece, Dez, Head Gear and Herbie are coming to our city this weekend for the Wolverines’ biggest game so far this year.

(7) Michigan State Spartans (6-0, 2-0 B1G) @ (12) Michigan Wolverines (5-1, 2-0 B1G)
Michigan Stadium Saturday, 10/17 3:30 ET, ABC

Offense
Michigan State has been led by their defense the past few seasons. However, this year’s edition of the Spartan D is not quite up to the same level of previous years. Attrition and injuries have left this defense a bit pedestrian and Michigan State has been outgained by their opponents in half of their games this season.

Michigan faced an aggressive 4-3 defense last Saturday against Northwestern. They put up 38 points before stashing the offensive machine in the garage for the second half.

The Wolverines will use its power run attack to establish the tone of this game. Seeing the success of a similar strategy from Rutgers, running back De’Veon Smith should have a very good game. Once Smith softens up the defense, look for Rudock to take advantage of a shaky Spartan secondary with one or two deep passes for big gains.

Defense
Michigan State quarterback, Connor Cook, is a legitimate NFL quarterback - he can make all the throws, as they say. Michigan’s outstanding defensive line will try to neutralize Cook by taking advantage of an injury riddled Spartan offensive line. Michigan will continue to use the combination of press man coverage and defensive line pressure to dominate the Michigan State offense.

This should be a good measuring stick for the Wolverine’s secondary. I look for Jourdan Lewis and company to win the battle over Cook and his receivers.

Special Teams
Well, all that’s left now is a punt return for TD and Jabril Peppers has been close a couple times.

Anything the special teams units can give in the game will be icing on the cake.

Prediction
Michigan State has dominated this match-up over the past decade. They’ve simply been the better team.

This year, that domination discontinues.

Michigan State is beat up on both sides of the ball. I also think the loss of D-Coordinator Pat Narduzzi is hurting more than everyone initially thought it might. All that said; I still think Michigan is the better team with Harbaugh taking full advantage of the talent he has on this roster. The Defense is dominating and the Offense is humming.

Still, there are two questions rattling around in my head:

1) Will this defense post a 4th straight shut out?
2) If the Wolverines are up big early will Harbaugh do what he’s done all year and go vanilla or will he keep the peddle down to make a statement?

Tomorrow, we find out.


Michigan 38 - 6

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