Special to MVictors.com, frequent visitor ‘BiggieMunn’ provides his analysis of his beloved Spartan football team. Biggie’s user name is a tip of the hat to the man who played and coached under Fritz Crisler and later went on to become arguably the greatest coach in Michigan State football history. No truth to the rumor that this post will start Munn’s own site, “Zeke the Wonder Blog”:

Running game:
As is typical in this match up MSU will have to be able to run the ball to win the game. The good news is that when they are rolling State has one of the best 1-2 punches in the country in Javon Ringer & Jehuu Caulcrick.

Passing Game:
Brian Hoyer is the key to this game for the Spartans. Hoyer has been an enigma much like this team. He has looked solid at times but has mystified this Spartan with his inconsistency. He continually airmailed wide open receivers in the second half of the Iowa game last week & looked extremely tight against Ohio State. Also, when the pocket collapses Hoyer loses his poise and more times than not he ends up eating the ball. He cannot lock on to Devin Thomas as much as he does and must get Kellen Davis & Mark Dell some touches. Both of these cats are great athletes that are underutilized.

Defense:
DC Narduzzi plays an aggressive blitzing style defense and I do not expect that to change for this game. The defense is going to be amped and if they can get to Henne/Mallett early that will bode well for the Spartan Nation. Mike Hart will get his, the guy is incredible. The State ‘D’ will have to make sure that he does not win the Heisman with his performance on Saturday. Keeping a “healthy” Hart to less than 125 yards would be huge. After last week’s Minnesota game MSU will now also have to prepare for Minor & Brown who both had breakout games. The DBs cannot allow more than 1 or 2 home runs or it will be an excruciating game to watch for the home fans.

Coaching:
Coach Dantonio has embraced this rivalry which is a refreshing change from the prior regime. Despite the brutal loses to Northwestern and Iowa I do believe that Coach D is the right man for this job and that he will “measure up”. A win against UM would go a huge way in earning back the respect of many fans as well as recruits. I look forward to seeing what the staff comes up with to make this happen.

Prediction:
State has not beaten Michigan in the last five meetings. To avoid a sixth straight loss to Lloyd’s bunch MSU must do the following:
1, Hoyer needs to spread the ball & get all his receivers involved in the game to keep UM’s defense off balance.
2. OC Treadwell has to find some unique ways to get his two playmakers (Ringer & Thomas) the pigskin.
3. The ‘S’ defense must get pressure on the UM QB.

I believe that Caulcrick will have a major impact on this game. As always the State defense cannot totally combust or it will not matter what the offense does. What the hell, the boyz will win this one for Mr. Simmons on a late Swenson field goal. Make it: MSU 34 UM 31

1 Comment

  1. Nice takes, Biggie.

    I must say, however, that I was a lot more worried about your boys before the Northwestern and Iowa losses. Is John L serving in an advisory capacity or something? They look like the same old Spartys to me right now. I’m sure Lloyd won’t have the “blue bellies” thinking that way (and, yes, this is one of Lloyd’s finest coaching performances, and he’s still my first choice to coach M next year and for the years to come).

    My two biggest worries as an M fan with Saturday’s game (alluding to what you point out):

    1. State’s ability to run the ball. Ringer and Caulcrick are not one of the best tandems, they are THE best tandem in college football. I fear them.

    2. [My biggest concern:] Michigan’s ability to tame State’s blitz packages. We seem to struggle with teams that blitz the crap out of us and if we can’t run the ball to ease the pressure on Henne/Mallet, it could be a very frustrating day.

    So, yes, this game will come down to the running game again. I heard Andy Evans or Sam Webb say on TKA the other day that the team with more rushing yards has won this game 35 of the last 37 meetings. I haven’t verified that stat, but it sure seems right. However, I don’t think it will hold this year as I don’t expect M to outrush Sparty. I’ll set the bar at 175 yards for the blue bellies: if M gains at least that much on the ground, M wins. And they will, make it Michigan 31, Spartans 20.