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The Official Ask a Spartan Anything About Michigan State Thread

  • Needles scare me. What about places to go Friday night, Sat before and after the game? We will be in town about 4 on Fri after we stop in South Bend at the College HOF. Good places to eat and of course better places to consume adult beverages.

  • SpartanRocky

    East Lansing is comprised of one "big" strip of bars on Grand River Avenue and the road that parallels Grand River (Albert), North of campus.

    I'd suggest the Peanut Barrel (Grand River) for food (and Long Islands; limit is 2 for good reason); it's the neighborhood bar and it's always a good time. For watching games, the East Lansing Buffalo Wild Wings (Albert) is a great option; the waitresses are all coeds (if you care about that kind of thing) and they'll have every noon game on that you could ask for (I assume you DO at least care about that). There are either 16 or 24 beers on tap and the prices are cheap (gotta love a college town).

    Other options for food include the usual assortment of Taco Bell/Subway/Jimmy Johns . . . . I'd try Menna's Joint (Albert) if you want some late night food. They make 'Dubs there, which are essentially any ingredient you want wrapped in a tortilla. Potatoes, sour cream and bacon? Done. Buffalo chicken, blue cheese and lettuce? Done. Pot Roast? I can't promise that one, but you get the picture.

    Harper's (Albert) is East Lansing's Micro-brew. Spartan Wheat and Raspberry Wheat are solid from a novelty standpoint. The Riv (Albert) is the best dive bar in town and Dublin's Square (at the West end of Albert) is a more mature crowd.

    For partying, Rick's is a dirty basement bar that you'll love if you're 21 and want to run away from if you're 30. It's in between Grand River and Albert, on Abbott, the road the acts as the Western boundary of the "bar scene". The Land Shark (Grand River) is your standard frat/sorority hangout; again, depends on where you're at in life.

    If you have a car, you can check out the Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe up on Lake Lansing Road. There's a series of chain restaurants by the mall (Eastwood Town Center) there as well; PF Changs, Max and Erma's, etc.

    I hope you enjoy EL. Let me know if you need further suggestions.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • SpartanRocky

    So back to football . . .

    What's up with Martinez' ankle?

    Still doing the 2-gap DT thing? How have you liked the Iowa DL coach?

    After Kenny Bell, there seems to be a big drop-off in receiving yardage/YPC. What's the word on the secondary receivers?

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • Dendrobates

    Will our offense make some big plays and put points on the board? Does your magic crystal ball tell you that? biggrin

  • RealChadSchultz

    Looks like his ankle got twisted pretty good Bo says he'll be fine, but who knows

    I'm still up in the air about our dline coaching

    Our receivers are good Enunwa is a beast especially when blocking for out running backs, Bell and Turner are our big play guys and for tight end Kyler Reed can make plays

    This post was edited by RealChadSchultz 18 months ago

    twitter @RealChadSchultz Goal in life is to make the Huskers Illustrated Hall Of Fame

  • SpartanRocky

    Probably not, but I think they can do enough to capitalize on short fields.

    Better question is whether Nebraska can play mistake-free football, or near to it. This is a game of inches, and I don't think NU will be able to get away with 100+ yards of penalties and 2 TOs like it did against UM.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • Final Countdown

    Here's my assessment of EL bars:

    Ricks: damp basement, drunk sluts, bad place to watch sports but good place to get yo freak on

    PT's and the Riv: Solid bars all around, good place to watch games

    B Dubbs: just like every other one in the country

    Woody's: laid back restaurant/bar, good food

    Landshark: frat boys, frat boys, also.... frat boys

    Dublin Sq.: most upscale of them all, plenty of tvs, pricier

    Harpers: pretty "meh" all around, big capacity but crappy service

    Peanut Barrell: great food and drinks, small and cramped, probably not very good for gameday but perfect any other time

  • RealChadSchultz

    Your exactly right penalties and fumbles have always been Bo Pelini lead teams achilles heel

    twitter @RealChadSchultz Goal in life is to make the Huskers Illustrated Hall Of Fame

  • they must of ran out of there ritalin

  • mebeinme0831

    How do you like your secondary versus our Wr core

  • Hey Nosfera2son, who is the girl in your middle poster? She's fine

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  • Nosfera2son

    That would be Ms. Jana Kramer

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    Feed me to the wolves, and I will return leader of the pack. #FreeDA

  • You know your stuff.

    If you were Michigan State, how would you attack Nebraska?

    I'm thinking you would look to run right at us, and utilize some counters and play-action with some decent amount of attempts to get it to your TE. No doubt your WR's are getting better, but I'm not sure you can rely upon any of them having a 'game' against Nebraska.

    Defensively, how would you look to contain Nebraska's Big 10 leading offense?

    I'm thinking you would stay in your base 4-3 package (like you have pretty much done all year) and stuff us in the run game while forcing T-Mart to throw the football.

    On the outside, you press coverage when needed, but play more shell coverage and not allow Nebraska to get over the top. You then expect your front 7 to take care of business, and if not, change it up a bit. Hell, even Ohio State and Braxton struggled to move the ball offensively against you, why do you need to change it up all that much because Nebraska isn't more dynamic offensively than Ohio State.

    I think this is going to be a low scoring game with a lot revolving around field position and special teams. I don't see either team having much success driving the ball for more than 50 or 60 yards, and it may come down to the kicking game to decide the winner and/or turnovers.

    Fully epecting a dandy on Saturday.

  • Final Countdown

    I'd love to see us run more wildcat, especially with Lippett (WR who played QB in HS). Our offense is way too predictable, especially if the run game is shut down.

  • Dendrobates

    That's what I hate, our playbook is so plain. I feel like we aren't utilizing our full potential with this team, and just doing the same couple plays over and over again.

  • We are ok with you running the same plays over and over biggrin

  • Final Countdown

    Retain Roushar!

    Every MSU opponent

  • SpartanRocky

    If you watch any CFB team a lot, you'll see the same plays over and over . . . .

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • SpartanRocky

    For the MSU offense, I think you attack Thad Randle in the run-game. Steinkuhler has the reach and experience to be an effective 2-gap DT, but I'm not sold on the Randle/Rome combo yet. Use Blake Treadwell, who's coming on strong at LG, to engage Randle one on one and run Iso to the B-gap on that side. If Treadwell has Randle locked up, should be no problem for the FB to get in the hole and clear out an LB. The C should also have a free release.

    Now, this only works in theory, and if Randle ends up getting the better of Treadwell (or McDonald, whichever OG he lines up against), then the run-game is going nowhere fast. Still, running North-South is just about the only way I see MSU gaining yards on the ground with Bell because . . .

    . . . .running laterally against Nebraska with Bell is dumb. The LBs are too fast and Bell too slow. I suppose a well set up counter would work, but you'd need the back-side OT and OG to pull around and that take forever and the backside pursuit would likely drop Bell from behind (unless Maxwell wants to start throwing blocks). Wish MSU had a speed RB; counter draws could really work well against an aggressive front 7 ( or 6, depending on what formation you guys roll out)

    End arounds/reverses can work against an aggressive defense; misdirection is always a good option, as gung-ho LBs tend to overpursue. Still, great blocking is required, or else all MSU will have done is move 5 yards backwards and change which hashmark they line up on. lol

    In the passing game, crossing routes, crossing routes, crossing routes . . . roll-out & some more crossing-routes. MSU's WRs have been poor blockers this year, making the screen game tenuous already; with NU playing tight man coverage, you can kiss the chances of bubble screens working good-bye. Slants can work fine, but only on downs that aren't 3rd and 7; Nebraska knows that's a preferred route on that down and distance and will gum up the middle of the field accordingly.

    The best routes, therefore, are the ones that drag across Nebraska's Cover 2 and therefore go through the holes in the zone. Northwestern did a great job of executing those against Nebraska last year, and MSU has the receivers to run a similar scheme. Combo routes, like a smash route with the slot receiver running a square out route and the outside receiver running a fly, work well against just about any scheme. MSU's Mumphery is a bigger slot receiver (6'0 208) and stands a solid chance of being able to fight past Ciante Evans (nickel back).

    Finally, the TE seam is a great zone buster, and MSU is going to have to take some shots downfield. I'd lean towards more complicated routes; there aren't many receivers who are just going to run by Nebraska's defenders. Out and up, double moves, etc. are going to be needed.

    I'll get to how MSU can combat Nebraska's offense later on today.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • Dendrobates

    I agree with that, but I feel like MSU has fewer plays. Of course, this could just be my frustration coming out and that's all I'm seeing.

  • SpartanRocky

    Well, when 5 different running plays all go for between 1-3 yards, it's easy for them to look the same.

    There are two philosophies for offensive football. One is to have a lot of plays run out of a few formations (Boise State) and the other is to have a few plays run out of a multitude of formations (Mike Leach). MSU leans towards the Boise State side of the equation, but the running plays out of the Power-I, for instance, look similar (dive, blast, iso), while stretch/counter plays look similar. Sometimes you'll see Bell cut back and think that he's creating on his own, when that was by design on the play (though sometimes it IS on his own).

    The passing plays may be quite diverse when you look at where all the receivers are running on a given play, but with the poor protection Maxwell is getting, you're seeing completions on the same check-down routes; there isn't a ton of variety on those. That gives the perception of: run up the gut, run up the gut, short pass, punt, when 2 different runs and a medium or deep pass were the actual play calls.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • SpartanRocky

    As promised, here's how I'd like to see MSU attack Nebraska's offense:

    Against the option, the defensive ends have to get into the backfield before the OG can pull around to block them (Belly G option). The DEs combined for 26 tackles last year (4 TFL, 2 sacks) and they need to take advantage of those moments where their unblocked. Barring that, it's going to be up to the LBs to stay disciplined and keep a guy on the pitch-man. I don't feel great about the DBs fighting off blocks from Enunwa, so the safety on that side of the field is going to be counted on.

    The read-option plays need to be defended just like they are against Michigan: attack the QB on every single attempt with the LBs. The RB may get the hand-off, but pound on Martinez for a half or so and he'll slow down. Count on the DEs keeping contain and the read-option plays should be largely neutralized. I'm most concerned about delayed counter draws and end arounds in the run-game; Marlowe busted a 39 yard end around last year and the Spartans don't handle misdirection all that well.

    As for the pass D, well, hitting Martinez has a lot to do with it. I'd advocate doubling Bell with Adams and a safety; Dennard is good enough to play on Enunwa one on one for most of the game. The crossing routes are going to fall on the linebackers; Bell's too quick to expect DBs to turn with him regularly. Martinez didn't look great against Michigan in terms of throwing the ball, and MSU is in the same category in terms of pass defense prowess. Rely on pressuring Martinez (with a bad ankle, he won't be as mobile) and force him to make bad throws. Underneath zone coverage could help confuse him, as will zone blitzes. He's not great at reading defenses, so the less time he has to throw, the better.

    Finally, when Nebraska puts the ball on the carpet, MSU has to pounce on it. Nebraska has lost more fumbles than any team in the country this year and though fumble recoveries aren't a guarantee, chances are that there will be some opportunities for MSU to pick up a loose ball. Depending on when those opportunities come in the game, it could very well be the thing that tips this match-up in favor of MSU's defense.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.


    Taylor seemed to be more effective in the second half when Michigan had worn down. Does MSU rotate linemen to keep them fresh for the fourth quarter?

    Aside from last week, you've been almost unable to get the QB down in the backfield, how do you see that changing this week?

    How does your coverage account for TE Kyler Reed, one of Taylors' security blanket throws?

    This post was edited by STOOBIE 17 months ago

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  • SpartanRocky

    MSU's DL got a boost when SR DT Tyler Hoover (6'7 310) returned to the line-up against Wisconsin. With him in there, the Spartans rotate 4 defensive tackles regularly. At DE, there's a 3 man rotation, though Rush and Gholston play 80% of the snaps or more.

    The DTs aren't as good as Worthy at attacking, but they do an excellent job of tying up OL at the line of scrimmage and keeping the LBs clean.

    MSU has done well with pressuring the QB, just not getting sacks. They looked great against Wisconsin, but Martinez is much more mobile than Stave or O'Brien. Then again, if Martinez isn't 100%, that may not apply, and Nebraska is giving up 2 sacks/game. That's not a great thing.

    TE coverage depends on which side of the field he lines up on. Usually it's the SAM LB, but last week the STAR LB was targeted and Wisky's Pederson caught a 31 yard TD (7 yard pass, 24 yards after the catch or so). Reed's a match-up problem to be sure, though MSU's safeties have done a good job against TEs this season.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • I think the 31 yard bomb to pederson was a missed assignment. It was actually just a 7-8 yd pass but somehow the LBs forgot to cover the middle and he turned up the seam and went in almost untouched

    I doubt we see that again. That said, I wont be surprised if I see T-Jones on reed. He has the speed and quickness to cover a fast TE and hands to swat down the pass or maybe intercept it? I wouldnt mind seeing bullough on him either but I think Bullough would be more preoccupied with abdullah or burkhead if he plays.

    The only TE that gave us trouble this year was eiffert. And hes projected to be a 1st rounder so it isn't as bad.

    This post was edited by GhostofSparta 17 months ago

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