Michigan Football: 5 things to know about Michigan State

Syndication: Lansing State Journal211002 Msu Wku Fb 147a
Syndication: Lansing State Journal211002 Msu Wku Fb 147a /
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Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /

2. Jayden and Jalen are a potent duo

Michigan State has one of the better receiver duos in the Big Ten in Jayden Reed and Jalen Nailor. Reed has 27 catches for 562 yards and five touchdowns while Nailor has 27 catches for 512 yards and six touchdowns.

Those two will have an advantage matching up against Michigan’s corners. However, Michigan is not strictly a man team anymore. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald has done a nice job of mixing zone looks in to confuse the opposition. We may see Michigan play more zone this week than usual.

3. Limiting explosive plays will be key for Michigan football

Jayden Reed averages 20.8 yards per reception while Jalen Nailor averages 19. No. 3 receiver Tre Mosley averages 15 yards per reception. Quarterback Payton Thorne averages 9.3 yards per attempt and Michigan State ranks 15th in passing play explosiveness.

Kenneth Walker III has had a 20 yard run in five of seven games this season. However, when Michigan State is not hit big plays, it can bog down on offense.

Thorne can be inefficient at times in the short and intermediate passing game. Additionally, Michigan State ranks 86th in finishing drives offensively. If Michigan football can keep Michigan State’s explosive plays to a minimum and make it drive the length of the field, the Spartans will struggle to put a ton of points on the scoreboard.