Michigan—Michigan State Preview: Better Get Your Armour

Big House BobSenior Analyst IIOctober 2, 2009

Game Time: High Noon
TV: Big Ten Network
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
Weather: 51 degrees with light rain
Line: State -3

A State Divided?

The Tale of Two Teams:

One team was ready for the BCS the other rebuilding after a 3-9 season.

One team had found the perfect coach, the other was still rebuilding with a ton of transfers, another freshman QB and a ridiculous Free Press article with allegations of over working his players.
One team was recruiting Michigan very well, while the other one was taking the top players from the state but recruiting the south heavy.

One team was ready to grab the reigns as the best team in the state, the other was going to have to give up it's title belt.

Funny how things change when it's time to lace them up and play football. Well, in the case of Denard Robinson it's "not lacing them up" and playing football.

The team that was supposed to have a big year is 1-3, the one that is still rebuilding is ranked 22 in the country and 4-0. Are these teams so different? The answer is no.

Both teams have the following:
  • A two QB system: One has worked the other hasn't
  • A defense that gives up a ton of yards with troubles in the secondary and not stopping the run
  • They both have NFL prospects on defense: Brandon Graham for Michigan and Greg Jones for State (you could throw Warren is there as well)

  • Both Teams have good WR's and pass catching athletic tight ends

  • Both teams have a number of good running backs

  • Both have former Big East coaches

So how do you call this one?

Sparty hasn't won back to back games in this series in 42 years. They have lost three in a row at Spartan Stadium to the Wolverines, but did win last year at the Big House.

The team that has the most yards running the ball usually wins this inter-state battle and Michigan has the number eighth ranked rushing attack in the nation.

This is the first road game for Tate and Denard and they have Iowa at Iowa next week.

One Team has it's back against the wall, the other is thinking New Year's Day Bowl.

You better go get your armour!

The keys for the game:

  • The weather, Michigan doesn't play well in the rain. Forecast calls for light rain.

  • Who wins the turnover battle

  • Whose defense shows up

  • Special Teams

  • Tate's shoulder, will it hold up for an entire game?

Have the Advil ready if:

  • Tate's shoulder is worse then is being let on

  • Michigan's two QB system is Denard and Sheridan

  • State plays like their season is on the line

  • Michigan goes "circus like" with a wet football

  • Michigan's DB's give up a ton of yards to MSU WR's

  • Michigan's linebackers take another day off

  • The Moose has trouble with the snaps again

Sing "Hail to the Victors" if :

  • Tate is healthy and gets 85 percent of the snaps

  • Michigan Defense creates turnovers

  • Michigan scores a lot of points like over 40!

  • Minor, Brown, and Shaw have a huge day on the ground.

  • Michigan has over 250 yards rushing and 200 yards passing

  • The young QB's don't say, "wait a minute this isn't the Big House?" Where are we?

  • Michigan special teams play very well

I look for a wet track, a lot of points, trick plays, and one team standing at the end. I expect Michigan to block a punt and for Denard to be something special outside the QB position.

Michigan State is favored by three at home and can't drop four games in a row, can they? (When I started writing this post, I had MSU winning a close game like 42-38, now I have changed my mind.) Michigan is the better team and if they don't play tentative, (and play some defense) can win this game.

Tate doesn't get nervous so why should any of us? Michigan needs to go one and one on this road trip and this is the best place for a win.

Michigan 38 MSU 28