Jump to content

PuNk42AE

GDT: #11 Michigan @ Michigan State Sat. Oct. 15th 12:00 PM

Recommended Posts

Michigan 6-0 (2-0)

mmk.gif @ mml.gif Michigan State 4-1 (1-0)

Mattison_Hoke_NW-thumb-590x391-90661.jpg

Brady Hoke expecting a dog fight

Bo Schembechler lost his first Michigan-Michigan State game, although he's hardly unique.

He later said he wasn't prepared for the ferocity of that 1969 game, something other coaches have echoed since failing in their first forays into this rivalry.

First-year Michigan football coach Brady Hoke hopes to avoid that fate. He knows exactly what to expect Saturday when the 11th-ranked Wolverines visit No. 23 Michigan State (noon, BTN).

"It's going to be a dog fight," he said.

Hoke has a good feel for the matchup because he spent eight years as a Michigan defensive assistant from 1995-2002. And what did that time teach him about this rivalry?

He affirmed what former coach Lloyd Carr used to say about it: Michigan State is the Wolverines' most physical game of the season.

"I'm a defensive line coach, (and) they were going to try to pound you off the football," Hoke said. "You had to match that intensity, and they were going to punch you in the face, and you've got to punch back."

The statistics bear out this point.

The team with more rushing yards has won 38 of the past 41 games between Michigan and Michigan State, and rushing yards are strongly correlated to line play.

"One of the statistics coaches talk about in this game is it's won and lost by rushing and rushing yards," senior defensive tackle Ryan Van Bergen said. "And when it comes to rushing, it’s all about who’s tougher up front, who’s more physical up front — and it’s always been about who’s going to hit who harder and who’s going to move people off the ball.

"So, yeah, this is our most physical game."

That should make this year's matchup even more intriguing.

Michigan (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) has the nation's No. 7 rushing attack, with dual-threat quarterback Denard Robinson leading the way. He currently is the Big Ten's top rusher at 120.0 yards per game.

However, he'll be facing the nation's top overall defense. The Spartans are No. 3 against the run.

Who's going to budge?

Hoke said the key to cracking that defense will be improved play by Michigan's offensive line.

"I think there’s not any doubt that (MSU's) physicalness at the line of scrimmage and their ability to penetrate and be disruptive are a big part of what they do defensively," he said. "For us, we have to play our best game to this point in all areas, but specifically up front.”

That's experience talking. It could make a difference against the Spartans (4-1, 1-0).

No new coach has won a Michigan-Michigan State game since 1995, when a pair of first-timers faced each other. The Spartans' Nick Saban beat Carr. It has been 63 years since a first-year coach beat a returning coach, when the Wolverines' Bennie Oosterbaan did it in a 13-7 win in 1948.

But Hoke's already cut his teeth against Michigan State. He's experienced the good, such as Charles Woodson's memorable interception in a win in 1997.

He's also dealt with the bad, such as "The Clock" game in 2001, when the Spartans marched down the field and scored on a T.J. Duckett touchdown reception as time expired.

“Somebody was in charge of substitutions on defense, and we had a penalty that helped them get down the field — and that was me," Hoke said. "We had too many guys on the field. So, I remember (it well).”

An experience such as that could become valuable as Michigan tries to halt its three-game losing streak against the Spartans. Only once have the Wolverines lost four in a row to Michigan State, and that was from 1959-62.

Is Hoke using that as a motivational tool?

“I don’t think I have to remind our guys what the outcome has been," he said. "These are college students, and they’re in classes and stuff like that.

"I would hope that they’re smart enough to understand that we haven’t played Michigan football the way we need to.”

13bilde.jpg

Michigan-Michigan St. Preview - College Football - Rivals.com

Ever since former Michigan running back Mike Hart referred to Michigan State as the Wolverines’ little brother in 2007, the Spartans haven’t lost to their in-state rivals.

Coach Mark Dantonio has made it a point to take control of the rivalry with Michigan, and now Michigan State has a chance to tie a school record in the series.

The 23rd-ranked Spartans look to win four straight over their rivals for the first time in nearly 50 years when they host No. 11 Michigan on Saturday.

Michigan State (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) fell 28-24 in that 2007 meeting but has won the three matchups since, including 34-17 last season. Michigan had won the previous six meetings before the Spartans’ winning streak.

Michigan State hasn’t won four straight in the series since 1959-62.

“The things that people hold great value in, and I think that this game is one of them, I believe in making it important,” Dantonio said. “From day one when we walked in here, we pointed towards that. There were others who said that we couldn’t (beat Michigan). So, we wanted to make a point. I think we’ve made the point and we’ll go on from there.

“You tend not to forget what’s gone on in these games.”

The matchups also have had more of an impact on the conference and national landscape in recent years. The winner of Saturday’s game will be in sole possession of first place in the Legends Division, and it will mark the first time since 1956-58 both teams will be ranked in the Top 25 in three straight meetings.

“Obviously the guys know what the history has been,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. “The rivalry is a tremendous rivalry because of the passion for both schools that people have. The alums, people within the state, you kind of draw the line that you’re a Spartan fan or you’re a Wolverine fan and that’s what makes college football and that’s what makes it so exciting.”

Hoke has helped bring excitement back to Michigan (6-0, 2-0) in his first season at the helm after three straight disappointing seasons. The Wolverines can win their first seven games for the first time since 2006.

Denard Robinson has been a major reason for the turnaround. He threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns while adding 117 yards and two scores rushing in a 42-24 win over Northwestern last week.

The Wolverines trailed 24-14 at halftime before outscoring the Wildcats 28-0 in the second half.

Robinson’s 120.0 yards per game rushing ranks ninth in the FBS for a Michigan offense which is second in the Big Ten averaging 457.5 total yards.

“Obviously, it all starts with Robinson. That goes without saying,” Dantonio said. “He can dish it to where he needs to go, whether it’s wide receivers or running backs.”

Robinson, though, threw three interceptions against Northwestern, and his nine picks are tied for third in the country. He also threw three interceptions and rushed for only 86 yards in last season’s loss to the Spartans.

Robinson had entered that contest averaging 181.0 yards rushing through the first five games of 2010, and it may not get much easier for the dynamic quarterback in this meeting.

Michigan State has the top-ranked defense in the nation, allowing 173.4 yards per game - 64.0 rushing. The Spartans, coming off a bye week, allowed 178 total yards in a 10-7 victory over Ohio State on Oct. 1.

They’ve allowed seven points or less four times this season.

“You look at their defense as a whole and I think the whole team is very well coached, because I have a lot of respect for Mark Dantonio,” Hoke said. “He’s a defensive coach, and his mindset and vision of how they are going to play defense; I think they are athletic. I think they play with good team speed, and they are going to be a physical presence out on the field.”

The Spartans’ offense, though, struggled at times against Ohio State. Michigan State committed three turnovers, including two interceptions by Kirk Cousins, with one coming in the end zone.

His lone touchdown pass went to B.J. Cunningham, who had nine catches for 154 yards. Cunningham is 11th in the nation with 116.4 yards per game.

Cunningham was held to 40 yards in last season’s meeting, but Edwin Baker ran for 147 of Michigan State’s 249 yards on the ground.

The Spartans’ last two wins at home in the series have come in dramatic fashion. They won 26-20 in overtime Oct. 2, 2009, and scored on a touchdown pass with no time remaining for a 26-24 victory Nov. 3, 2001. Michigan won the three meetings at Spartan Stadium in between.

1153276.jpgwolverine-last-michigan.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barnum's status up in the air

Hoke said that Michigan junior guard Ricky Barnum ran at practice Sunday, but remains a question mark for Michigan State on Saturday.

Barnum has missed Michigan's previous two games after leaving the San Diego State game with an ankle injury. He has been replaced in the lineup both weeks by sophomore Michael Schofield.

Hoke was asked if Barnum was questionable, or if he was expected to play. His reply was cloudy. "I don't know," he said.

Woolfolk banged up, but Countess improving

Michigan senior cornerback Troy Woolfolk played against Northwestern with a much smaller cast on his right hand, but is still "banged up" overall, according to Hoke.

The Michigan coach explained that the decision to play freshman Blake Countess over Woolfolk more in the second half last Saturday was in part because of the senior's health and in part because of the freshman's ability.

"Troy's banged up a little bit, he tweaks his ankle now and then but his hand is getting better," Hoke said. "But Blake is a guy who plays at a high rate. Watch him go down (and cover) a kickoff. He plays at a high rate, plays fast and fundamentally he's pretty sound."

Countess has 18 tackles and a team-high four pass breakups on the season, while Woolfolk has 11 tackles and one pass breakup.

84 hours till game time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't wait to play Baylor this week. Denard vs. RGIII will be amazing... What? We aren't playing Baylor? We are playing Michigan State in their new Nike Pro Combat jerseys? My mistake!

Edited by Fool Inc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love how you spelled Baylor wrong twice in one post. Looks like something I would do.

Thanks for starting this Punk. Was going to do it last night, but certain birthday festivities got in the way. I had graphics I worked on for 6 months, but they sucked anyway...so...thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love how you spelled Baylor wrong twice in one post. Looks like something I would do.

Thanks for starting this Punk. Was going to do it last night, but certain birthday festivities got in the way. I had graphics I worked on for 6 months, but they sucked anyway...so...thanks again!

I have no idea what you are talking about. >_>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, thanks for starting this thread.

I'm really looking forward to this game. Regardless of outcome, I have not a single doubt that Michigan is on its way back. Between the recruiting and their play thus far it's clear that there is a plan conceived and inspired by a really good coaching staff. Beyond that I don't know what to make of the Michigan defense. They lack talent/experience and yet they seem to keep improving week to week. The offense is much improved in my opinion. They can do more things out of more formations than what they have in recent years and while plenty of plays don't seem to click, there is always Denard who seems to do better when his back is against the wall.

Schofield had a pretty iffy Northwestern game (at least first half) so that's a concern. I really wish Barnum was back. Troy really hasn't been able to play effectively all season so unless he's improved, I guess we will live with the same thing we have so far this year.

As for Michigan State, the only games I really saw much of were ND and Ohio State. Those were not impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think this game will be a blow out in either direction, but I really hope that Michigan can play a 60 minute game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love how you spelled Baylor wrong twice in one post. Looks like something I would do.

Thanks for starting this Punk. Was going to do it last night, but certain birthday festivities got in the way. I had graphics I worked on for 6 months, but they sucked anyway...so...thanks again!

Awesome.

GO BLUE!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No such thing as sucky Michigan graphics!! Put them up for all to adore!!

I'll repost my prediction that I put down in the MSU thread in a second.

Tomorrow at my high school is "Green and White Day" to "support our football team before the homecoming game" (also tomorrow)... I call BS... Our administration just all graduated from MSU!

Anyway, I'm going to school (and the pep rally) tomorrow head to foot in MAIZE AND BLUE!!!

The football team at my HS is now 0-6 and will finish their season in two weeks at 0-8, so when people ask me what the hell I'm doing, I plan on telling them that I'm supporting the team that actually WINS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is just a copy/paste of my prediction from the MSU thread...

My Prediction...

Offense

Denard Robinson is better than Kirk Cousins. Plain and simple. Sure, you can point to the Completion % and say Cousins is better, but you have to really think about situations to understand the full story... If Cousins drops back in the pocket, 9x out of 10 he is passing the ball, and Michigan can drop back to defend it. When he does tuck and run, it can be snuffed out and taken out quickly... When Robinson drops back, you must be alert at all times or he will burn you. I guarantee it... He doesn't even need too many weapons, he will make it work.

Michigan: 93/100

Michigan State: 84/100

Defense

Sure, Michigan's defense is on the rise thanks to Greg Mattison and Brady Hoke. But that doesn't mean they're elite yet... For that matter, neither is Michigan State (The only real offense they've played is Notre Dame, and they gave up 31 points). Still the edge has to go to MSU due to the great combo of size and speed they have plus their depth. Nearly every UM guy is between 215-275 lbs, and if a starter needs a break, watch out.

Michigan: 86/100

Michigan State: 91/100

Special Teams

This one really isn't debatable. Michigan is improving with Brendon Gibbons at the helm (4/6, 38 yd. long) but State is still head and shoulders above UM with Dan Conroy, who has made two 50 yard field goals this year.

Michigan: 78/100

Michigan State: 89/100

Coaching

Extremely close. Dantonio and Hoke could battle for years to come... I'm givingthe edge to Michigan here though, not because of Hoke or Dantonio, but because of Greg Mattison... To take a team who was ranked 100-something on defense all the way to 39th is absolutely amazing.

Michigan: 97/100

Michigan State: 95/100

Intangibles

Michigan is 6-0: +1

Michigan has played tougher opponents: +1

Michigan State has home field: +2

Michigan State is coming from a Bye: +1

Here is how I grade them...

Offense - 40% of total grade

Defense - 40% of total grade

Coaching - 10% of total grade

Special Teams - 10% of total grade

Final Tally

Michigan: 93/100

Michigan State: 93/100

Um... Wow... That isn't supposed to happen...

Alright I've gotta make a call so here it is...

Michigan: 37

Michigan State: 35

in Triple OT

There ya have it.

Edited by mr0zip0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is just a copy/paste of my prediction from the MSU thread...

My Prediction...

Offense

Denard Robinson is better than Kirk Cousins. Plain and simple. Sure, you can point to the Completion % and say Cousins is better, but you have to really think about situations to understand the full story... If Cousins drops back in the pocket, 9x out of 10 he is passing the ball, and Michigan can drop back to defend it. When he does tuck and run, it can be snuffed out and taken out quickly... When Robinson drops back, you must be alert at all times or he will burn you. I guarantee it... He doesn't even need too many weapons, he will make it work.

Michigan: 93/100

Michigan State: 84/100

Defense

Sure, Michigan's defense is on the rise thanks to Greg Mattison and Brady Hoke. But that doesn't mean they're elite yet... For that matter, neither is Michigan State (The only real offense they've played is Notre Dame, and they gave up 31 points). Still the edge has to go to MSU due to the great combo of size and speed they have plus their depth. Nearly every UM guy is between 215-275 lbs, and if a starter needs a break, watch out.

Michigan: 86/100

Michigan State: 91/100

Special Teams

This one really isn't debatable. Michigan is improving with Brendon Gibbons at the helm (4/6, 38 yd. long) but State is still head and shoulders above UM with Dan Conroy, who has made two 50 yard field goals this year.

Michigan: 78/100

Michigan State: 89/100

Coaching

Extremely close. Dantonio and Hoke could battle for years to come... I'm givingthe edge to Michigan here though, not because of Hoke or Dantonio, but because of Greg Mattison... To take a team who was ranked 100-something on defense all the way to 39th is absolutely amazing.

Michigan: 97/100

Michigan State: 95/100

Intangibles

Michigan is 6-0: +1

Michigan has played tougher opponents: +1

Michigan State has home field: +2

Michigan State is coming from a Bye: +1

Here is how I grade them...

Offense - 40% of total grade

Defense - 40% of total grade

Coaching - 10% of total grade

Special Teams - 10% of total grade

Final Tally

Michigan: 93/100

Michigan State: 93/100

Um... Wow... That isn't supposed to happen...

Alright I've gotta make a call so here it is...

Michigan: 37

Michigan State: 35

in Triple OT

There ya have it.

Nice Post. I agree with pretty much all of it. I think DRob is obviously the X-factor more than anything else. Being on the road especially. Last year, UM could have went up early with a couple of scores but had costly turnovers in the redzone. Hopefully another year of experience, and some seniors with alot to prove against a rival will help give UM an edge. The first quarter will be huge IMO for UM to get off to a good start, and get after Cousins early and often. Can't wait for this game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want to wish you guys good luck...while I'm most definitely rooting for my Spartans, hopefully it's a great, well-played game. Build up a little Big Ten cred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is UM's toughest game yet. It'll be interesting to see if they can throw the ball a bit. I have a feeling Sparty will be stacking the box heavily.

GO BLUE!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah id agree with that. It would be my gameplan as well. 8 or 9 in the box and try to make Denard beat you with the throw. Luckily UM has some playmakers at WR that can stretch the field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, I think State takes this one. I haven't seen enough consistency in the passing game yet to have any confidence. So State by 7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah id agree with that. It would be my gameplan as well. 8 or 9 in the box and try to make Denard beat you with the throw. Luckily UM has some playmakers at WR that can stretch the field.

This has definitely been the MO of the past few defenses. If Borges can make the adjustments quickly and Denard does not get pick happy, they should be able to score on MSU. What I'm most interested in seeing is how the Jeckyl/Hyde defense performs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately, I think State takes this one. I haven't seen enough consistency in the passing game yet to have any confidence. So State by 7.

Denard is a definite wild card who is likely to both awful and amazing in the space of a game. What I'm completely confident in though is Borges. He will have the plays, they will have the openings. I would be surprised if Michigan only scores 14.

I laugh at some of the State fans dismissal of Denard's arm. He has a great arm, just bad judgement at times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nice Post. I agree with pretty much all of it. I think DRob is obviously the X-factor more than anything else. Being on the road especially. Last year, UM could have went up early with a couple of scores but had costly turnovers in the redzone. Hopefully another year of experience, and some seniors with alot to prove against a rival will help give UM an edge. The first quarter will be huge IMO for UM to get off to a good start, and get after Cousins early and often. Can't wait for this game.

Thank you. This game should be the most competitive we've seen for quite some time. It should be nice... I want to see how Hoke plays the rivalry game up too... If he treats rivalries like Rich Rodriguez did, we might be in for a long one. If he treats them how (hate to say the name, but he did it well) Jim Tressel did, we may be ushering in a new Michigan era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...