Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Michigan week with no sizzle

As usual, I meant to get around to this post earlier, but no such luck.

It's Michigan week, and I don't remember a Michigan week with less sizzle since 2006.

We have a 2-5 (0-4 Big Ten) MSU team up against a 7-0 (4-0 Big Ten) Michigan. Two teams headed in opposite directions. One team in seeming disarray and the other playing for a possible Big Ten title and football playoff berth. We MSU fans have become accustomed in recent years to OUR team playing for high stakes and UM playing for scraps.

I don't want to say the Spartans have no shot today, because of course they have a shot. But realistically it's a LONG shot. Much will need to go right for the Spartans to win, and as we know not much has gone right for MSU this season. Even if MSU gets some breaks (recovered turnovers, maybe a pick six, possibly connect on a big pass play to Shelton or Corley) I just don't know if MSU can get enough throughout a 60-minute game.

Maybe MSU's best chance is psychological. UM's seniors have never beaten the Spartans, so perhaps that's in their heads. But I find that hard to believe. The Wolverines have been stewing for a year and change over last year's stunning loss, and with the way they are playing this season they must be brimming with confidence. (We can always hope that they're even a little over confident).

Based on what I've seen from MSU this season, even if they play their best game of the season I don't know if it'll be enough to win. This is a team with an offensive line that struggles to protect the quarterback, struggles to run block, and a defense that can't get a pass rush without blitzing and can't get off the field on third down. Compounding that are the often head-scratching mental mistakes they make.

I hate to do this, and I hope I am wrong, but I will call this one: Michigan 38, MSU 10.

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