Saturday, September 27, 2008

Prediction: MSU at Indiana

Michigan State has had experience with mobile quarterback from Indiana. Does the name Antwaan Randle-El ring a bell with anyone? Never thought he'd stop running against MSU.

Kellen Lewis has already superseded Randle-El's career stats in rushing, passing, completions, touchdowns, etc.

MSU is also coming off a nice win last week and as all Spartan fans know, the team has not always handles success well. But THAT is the difference with a Dantonio coached team. They could have folded the tent last year after blowing the game to Michigan, but they didn't. I don't think they will let the Notre Dame game get to their heads either.

MSU 34-17

Friday, September 26, 2008

Game Notes: Indiana

As usual, here's everything you need to know about MSU vs. Indiana - click here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Game 4: MSU 23, Notre Dame 7

Sorry I didn't get a prediction in on time. I went up to East Lansing and as we all know, that requires an early start.

This one was not fancy. It was not a beautiful game by any means. It was very much a methodical dismantling of the Irish. They were going to see Ringer, then they were going to see Ringer and then they were going to see Ringer some more.

201 yards against the Irish for his second 200-yard game in a row. That will get the Spartans some wins.

But the thing that was most impressive in this game was the defense. They got to Jimmy Clausen for the first time all year (neither San Diego State nor Michigan had any sacks against the Irish). Otis Wiley (quickly becoming my favorite player not named Ringer) was all over the field, including some picks and near picks.

If the defense plays like that for the rest of the year, this team will be in position to win games. Plenty of them.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Izzo an MSU lifer

For those who can't wait for basketball season - here is a must read from Eric Lacy in today's Detroit News. Comments like this from Izzo have to excite every Spartan fan.

Check out there story here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Game 3: MSU 17, Florida Atlantic 0

So, the weather may have been a factor (and I should have taken that into account when I made my 35-17 prediction), but a win is a win - especially against a team which some outsiders said could have been scary for MSU (ala Louisiana Tech from a few years ago).

That said, Javon Ringer was put on display - since neither quarterback could throw the ball - and racked up 284 rushing yards against the Owls, which is the 4th most for a single game in Michigan State history.

Some have questioned why Ringer was still in the game with four minutes remaining with a 17-0 lead. Dantonio's answer was that he didn't think it was fair (or wise) to ask a rookie running back to get in the game and try to get used to a wet ball, when a turnover could make the game a heck of a lot tighter than it was.

Now the fun part of the season begins - Notre Dame and then the Big Ten. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prediction: MSU vs. Florida Atlantic

Quick prediction: MSU 35, Florida Atlantic 17

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here come the Owls

So there are not many people out there who know anything about Florida Atlantic University. Do some pre-game reading of the game notes. More analysis and a prediction are on their way!

Game Two: MSU 42, EMU 10

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.. Somehow I predicted the score exactly right for this game.

As expected the Spartans were fully intent on running the ball, which lead to Javon Ringer's five touchdowns, just one shy of Blake Ezor's single-game record.

Check out the stats, quotes and game notes here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Prediction: Game Two: Eastern Michigan at MSU

Sorry, I have been traveling this week and have not had too much time to blog or even catch up on this week's game. However, here are some thoughts for you. And as always, the game notes for this week's game are available here.

The Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-0) are on a winning streak - well at least a streak as far as Eastern is concerned. They've won two games in a row, going back to the win over Central in the final game of last season to last week's 52-0 pasting of Indiana State.

That ends this week however. We don't know too much about the Eagles, but the Spartans have never lost to the Eagles and will come out swinging to get the bad taste from last week's game against Cal out of their mouth.

EMU has 13 returning starters, including their quarterback. They also run a spread offense which can give defensive teams grief (see Utah or Appalachian State against Michigan0>

MSU will work on a few things from last week.

I would not have wanted to be an offensive lineman for the Spartans at practice this week. You can be sure the coaching staff laid into them about their performance both in run blocking and pass protection. I think MSU will recommit to the run to get Javon Ringer off early and often. There is no way Brian Hoyer should throw the ball as much as he did last week, so opening of the running game more this week will take some of the pressure of him.

I think Ringer goes for 100+ and Hoyer throws for another 200+ today in the home opener.

MSU takes down the Eagles 42-10 to get their first win of the year.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Game One thoughts

Okay, as you know, I expected MSU to lose that game against Cal. It is just a tough thing to ask a team to do - fly to the West Coast and play a quality team in the opener (just ask Tennessee which lost to UCLA over the weekend as well!).

What I didn't expect is to have MSU leave so many points on the field. The Spartans had at least three touchdowns called back - Mark Dell's catch which was reviewed and overturned, BJ Cunningham's offensive pass interference on MSU's first drive and the Javon Ringer run in the second half. Too many times the Spartans had a chance to take the lead but they shot themselves in the foot.

So there are some things to take away from this game...

On the positive side - MSU put up some points, even without a steady running game; they kept fighting back when pre-Dantonio teams would have folded up their tents in the first quarter; and Mark Dell looks like he could be the replacement for Devin Thomas.

On the negative - Brian Hoyer did not look good at all, but how much was on him and how much was on the young receiver is unknown; the offensive line needs some work, MSU needs to run the ball to be successful and Hoyer cannot be forced to throw the ball that much; and the defense needs some work, there were a few nice plays (Otis Wiley's two interceptions) but Cal got yards in big chunks in the second half.

I think MSU is a better team for having played this game and they'll be better prepared for hostile Big Ten environments. Let's face it, Cal is a better team than MSU right now. Behind USC, they might just be the second best team in the Pac-10 and MSU had some chances to take them out.

The schedule is light for the next six weeks and MSU will be favored in all of them, so the Cal game is certainly not the end of the season.