Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An obligatory look at Michigan State (The Rivalry edition)

About the University

Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan USA. Founded in 1855, it was the pioneer land-grant institution and served as a model for future land-grant colleges in the United States under the 1862 Morrill Act….February 12, 1855 Michigan Governor Kinsley S. Bingham signed a bill establishing the United States' first agriculture college, the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan…Abraham Lincoln signed the First Morrill Act of 1862, making the Michigan school a national model.
Cool Fact

National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) is located on the campus of Michigan State University and is the leading rare isotope research facility in the United States. Established in 1963, the cyclotron laboratory is the nation's largest nuclear science facility on a university campus.[1] Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and MSU, the NSCL operates two superconducting cyclotrons. The lab's scientists investigate the properties of rare isotopes and nuclear reactions. In nature, these reactions would take place in stars and exploding stellar environments such as novae and supernovae. The K1200 cyclotron is the highest-energy continuous beam accelerator in the world.

After all that buildup it's rather unimpressive, no?

Football related datum

Current Record: 6 – 5
Last year's Record: 9 – 4: lost to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl

The scary side of things

Time to beat the dead horse!

Special Teams – until the coaches prove they can fix the monumental problems on special teams I'm going to continue to bring this up over and over. Michigan State is the best team in the Big Ten and seventh best in the nation on Kickoff Returns. Be afraid, be very fucking afraid. Keshawn Martin is 5th in the country averaging 31.71 yards per return. Might want to kick it away from him, but you know, not our coaching staff. I'm putting special teams at the top of the list because I think it's the most important thing to worry about if PSU wants to win Saturday. Don't think special teams are that important, check this out:

And the secret to having a national title contender this year is … excellence on kickoff return?

The six unbeaten teams in Division I-A have navigated the first 11 weeks of the season with different strategies and strengths. But they find common ground in gaining good field position after their opponents score. All six squads rank among the top 20 nationally in kickoff return average, with everybody except Alabama (No. 19) squeezing into the top 10.

Yeah, it's that important.

A four man rush isn't going to cut it – like Indiana Sparty is great at protecting the QB, unlike Indiana, Sparty has an offense to take advantage of it. Michigan State is best in the Big Ten and 18th in the nation in sacks allowed. Mark my words here's how things will happen Saturday. Bradley will have the team come out in the Bend and Then Break Our Hearts soft zone defense and bring only the four down lineman. Unless Kirk Cousins implodes he will have all the time in the world and will pick apart the middle just like every other decent passing offense has against this atrocious defensive scheme. Like every other game PSU will come out slow and fall behind by oh… 10 or 14 points before the coaching staff decides: "hey… this crappy defensive scheme isn't working, maybe we should try something else." Mark it down, I'll be happy to eat my words later but I've heard this tune before; many, many times before.

Speaking of passing, might want to be worried about that – MSU has the best offense in the Big Ten because they are the best team in passing offense and passing Efficiency. Kirk Cousins leads the Big Ten with a rating of 149.71 and is completing almost 62% of his passes. Blair White and B.J. Cunningham are his main targets and have caught 61 and 44 catches respectively. That's more than anyone on PSU's roster. Cousins has 17 touchdowns and only 5 picks. If Penn State doesn't pressure him it's going to be a looooooonnnnnnnngggggggg day.

The not-so-scary side of things

Passing Defense – Michigan State has to have a lot of offense because their passing defense suuuuucks. Sparty is giving up 245 yards per game and they don't pressure very well coming in 10th in the conference in tackles for loss. Amazingly they are 2nd in the conference in sacks so go figure. In fact if you take a quick look at their schedule, the least amount of points given up in Big Ten play has been 14 points, and they gave up 30 or more points to Purdue, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (two of them losses).

Turnover Margin – While Sparty takes care of the ball on offense they really don't force anything on D. They only have five picks all year, less than half of Penn State's total. They've put the ball on the ground 14 times and lost 8 which accounts for most of their turnovers. Penn State may get a chance at a fumble, hopefully they can capitalize.

Game Outlook

Hey its rivalry week bitches!! I'm expecting a high paced, hate filled game! Lots of intensity and both teams playing at high levels, Hell we're playing for the magnificent land grant trophy.

I want it so bad I can taste it!

It's a week like this that makes you feel alive going against your bitter rival.


Ok, that's all bullshit. Honestly after watching Penn State play the last two weeks I'm thinking this is a loss. I expect them to come out flat, not give a shit and play from behind all game long. The defensive coaches will use the same shitacular schemes that have frustrated fans for years and it will get ugly. This game will come down to whether or not Daryll Clark can take this offense on his shoulders and after the game last week don't look for that to happen. Michigan State's leading sack man is Greg Jones which means Sparty likes to blitz and we all know how well Penn State's offensive line handles pressure. The same problems Penn State has been having all season will come back to haunt them in this game: special teams, horrible blocking, and a passive defensive. There's really nothing to play for and I don't expect the team to be ready. Why should I, they weren't ready to play Ohio State at home.

TNL's Prediction

Penn State 21
Michigan State 27


Justin said...

Agreed - we are playing just terrible football right now, and I am not even one of those "Negative Nancy" types.

I think we get spanked by a team that wants it more than we do.

Galen said...

I'm not even one of those "Negative Nancy" types that you speak of but I'm just getting sick of the inevitable 1 or 2 game breakdown that occurs every year. They simply should play better.

Host Pay Per Head said...

It would be quite interesting to check that facility specially that they are trying to discover Isotopes and they can find interesting things after bombarding them with electrons