Michigan Football: Michigan at Michigan State — High Noon at 3:30
Michigan Faces a Must Win Situation
Yes, indeed, the game is not at high noon, but it is high noon for the Michigan football team’s chances at staying in contention for the Big Ten Championship and a notable bowl invitation. This situation is self-inflicted with Michigan’s absolute failure to win a game given to the Wolverines several times by Penn State. Blunders galore by players and staff marred hard play by the Michigan team.There are some myths about Michigan State that are just not true. First, the coaching staff is very competent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. This staff pays great attention to detail, far more than most coaching staffs. When a weakness is found, the Spartans are not afraid to exploit it. Second, Michigan State does have a quarterback that has size and a nice arm, typical of the big pocket passers that have passed through East Lansing. Connor Cook has been given his chance and has progressed as the weeks have passed. Third, Michigan State is a much better team than some folks give credit. The defense is indeed one of the best in America and an opposing offensive coordinator better prepare well or the Sparties will each your lunch and steal your dinner.
There is not much mystery about Michigan State. There will be an offense that will show between the tackle power plays, the quick slant, the tight end sit down in a zone, and the laser shot post pattern that attempts to beat the corner and split the safeties. On defense expect constant zone blitz schemes both against running and passing situations. Expect good linebacker play, perhaps the best in the conference, and expect the back four to be well attached to the opposing receivers, sometimes even legally.The most important Wolverines this week may be the coordinators. Coach Mattison’s job is perhaps more simplistic. Coach Borges’ role will be critical. Michigan has not really solved the Spartan defensive scheme for several years; the most productive plays being quarterback scrambles. The line has not provided time for most downfield plays to develop. The Michigan running attack has been near non-existent, minus a quarterback’s legs.
The message here is business as usual will not serve Michigan well. Coach Borges will need to prepare an antidote of an offensive game plan to neutralize, or at least slow down the Spartans’ defensive advantage.
The Michigan defense needs to show up, en masse, that is, the entire unit. Michigan State will probe early to determine which area of Michigan’s defense can best be exploited.
This will not be a love fest. Coming up next, a position of how Michigan’s offense may try to counter the Spartie pressure. It is entitled- Be Quick But Do Not Hurry.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
Go Blue — Wear Maize!