One was good. Finally eased the pain of the triple overtime Demond Williams show. Oh sorry- the Braylon Edwards over Demond Williams show. Back to back made for bragging rights. Three in a row sent a ripple through Walmart nation that the Spartans behind now "Spartan for Life" head coach Mark Dantonio meant business. While we're at it, let's make it four. As a matter of fact, MSU will make it four in a row.
Here is why MSU will beat Michigan on Saturday:
You have your Denard. I have my Dennard. Before the season started, Johnny Adams told me that he wanted to be the best corner MSU has ever had. His biggest competition right now is the guy playing on the other side of the field: Darqueze Dennard.
Darqueze Dennard isn't the guy on defense you usually hear about. That's the best compliment for a cornerback you can get. Before Nnamdi Asomugha became the most sought after NFL free agent, you probably had never heard of him. That's because teams never throw at him so he can never make a play. The same thing is slowly happening to Dennard. Ohio State tried to beat him and you can see what happened. What might be the best thing about him for the Michigan game is the fact that he can play safety when Pat Narduzzi decides to move normal safety Isaiah Lewis up to linebacker in a variation of the Nickel defense. That will be the biggest key in stopping your Denard.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Denard Robinson is a terrible quarterback. He is a fantastic player, but he is not a QB. He is a chucker. He is the George Costanza of QBs.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOhvYhyzKjM']
In all seriousness I believe the only reason MSU won last year is because Rich Rod is an absolute moron. I'm sure most UM fans agree. Denard Robinson is electric. His triple option is almost impossible to stop. Yet if you look back to last year, Michigan barely ran it. Whenever Denard did run it was on a QB sweep. When there is no misdirection it's easy for linebackers to hone in on the ball. These MSU backers might not have the instincts of Greg Jones and Eric Gordon, but they have the speed to track down Robinson if they have an idea of where he is going.
I haven't always been the biggest fan of MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. I mocked MSU's #1 national defensive ranking. He showed me something new against Ohio State. I've never seen him blitz like that. MSU's playcalling on both sides of the ball has always been pretty vanilla under Dantonio. The offense still is, but the defense now seems to have the playmakers to cause hell for opposing offenses. The defense was clearly motivated against OSU. Imagine how they will feel playing Michigan at home. This video is great because it's clearly done by an OSU fan trying to find highlights from the game.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffxmOWpxI3o']
The scheme will be slightly different against a QB like Robinson. You have to be careful about where the pressure comes from. You have to either leave a spy (Chris Norman I hope) or make sure the rush doesn't get too far up field leaving gaps for him to escape out of. Brady Hoke or more accurately Al Borges has done a good job of making half time adjustments for the Wolverines this year. I assume the speech goes something like this: "OK Denard, you had your fun. Now we need you to not throw the ball so that we can actually have a chance to win." But Michigan hasn't faced a defense like this yet.
Yup, that's right. I have confidence in the MSU defense. I still can't believe that they are the squad that has been stepping up and making plays when they need to. I usually hope for a couple three and outs. Now after Saturday, I expect every possession to be a three and out. I fully expect Will Gholston and Jerel Worthy to make life hell for the Michigan O Line and Denard Robinson. I bet Devin Gardner will get some run, and not just as a different look with Robinson as a WR.
MSU has the perfect defense to stop Michigan's high powered offense. The defensive line can get pressure on its own. The linebackers have been successful blitzing and are athletic enough to stay with Denard Robinson. The corners are big enough and good enough in coverage to stop the one Michigan pass play: the Jump Ball. And the safeties Isaiah Lewis and Trenton Robinson both step up and play the run very well. With all that and having two weeks to prepare, MSU should be able to hold Michigan to about 7 points. That just barely enough for the MSU offense to outscore them and win the game.
Don't forget that MSU will be wearing their Nike Pro Combat uniforms. The players love them, and fans are starting to get on board with them. In case you were wondering, the players can buy the helmets for $250 at the end of the season. So that means you can buy them for about $500 from them. Wait, sorry, those would be the Ohio State helmets that will be for sale by the players.
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