Monday, October 25, 2021

Michigan State

As if it matters.  Clicks off because Finebaum is ugly and on.  It doesn't.

ESPN says 56% chance of a Michigan win on the road against a lesser-ranked team.  May as well just call it 50-50.

I watched Michigan State a few times this year (see below) and they did not impress me much, even though they have not lost or folded completely.  Walker can be stopped and he does not have unusual moves, strength, or speed.  (He ran 94 yards just fine, though.)  They commit a lot of penalties, especially in the defensive backfield.  They play with the same dirty edge they always have.  


State's quarterback--I had to look up his name--is a rookie and an amateur among amateurs; he was not much as a recruit, he is not a runner, and he does not have a strong arm.  In some games the receivers have gone wild but in others they have disappeared, mostly because the quarterback is not delivering the ball.  There's the one experienced defensive end, but I do not recall anything stand-out in either line, the linebackers, or their kicking game.

First, I will backtrack to the slow-starting but blowout win against Northwestern.  Michigan won because of the same strengths:  two outstanding running backs, good offensive and defensive lines, and an elite kicking game.  Despite allowing big plays that have not cost games, the defense includes stars and a shut-down capability.  

Another memory from Northwestern:  Cade McNamara cannot run and sometimes he isn't a very good passer either.  Games like this in East Lansing, though, are the reason he starts and wins.

There is an ulterior benefit to the dink Michigan passing game in that it keeps drives alive.  Ball control, time of possession, or keeping the defense off the field, call it what you will.  If you score too quickly, the other team could do the same.

In this game, the Michigan defense is poised to make things very difficult for Payton Thorne.  It is likely Michigan will bottle-up Walker III too, because no team has dominated on the ground against Michigan this year.  That, or if, the Spartan receivers will break free is the million dollar question.  My answer is Michigan has seen better and way more experienced quarterbacks so far this year.  

Cade McNamara is the perfect quarterback for Michigan in this game.  You have to let them play.  I think Michigan will sack Thorne and limit Walker's yards.  With no turnovers (i.e., less Donovan Edwards and Mike Sainristil), Michigan and McNamara will drive the ball and, when necessary, the kicking game will score.

Whenever possible and especially, when safe, JJ McCarthy.  This year we have seen the big throws and his running is the best thing on the ground Michigan has outside of the Big Two.

In this game, I know how Michigan plays.  And I think they can handle the stadium.  I am eager to see Michigan State.  They will have at least a couple big plays, but overall, starting with Payton Thorne, I think they will show cracks.  They may even become rattled.

Michigan by 10.  Around 27-17.

No comments:

Post a Comment