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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Is Perception Reality? Who Are the Spartans?

After the non-conference portion of 2012 is in the books let's take a look how the Spartans are meeting expectations - or not...

Where it appears I could be wrong:

  • The combination on O-line experience, a strong running game, a big play defense, raw talent at and quality special teams would be enough to compensate for the loss of Kirk Cousins and most all of the 2011 receiving corps.
  • The receiving corps will surprise the critics and Benny Fowler will lead the way.
  • The defense will create a game changing turn-overs with regularity.
  • Nick Hill will be a force returning kicks.
  • DeAnthony Arnett will make an immediate impact (I'm already wrong on this one no matter what else happens)

Where it appears I could be right:

  • Whatever happens in 2012, 2013 is likely to bring better results. This is a junior dominated team. Just two seniors start on offense (one is out with injury and may medical red-shirt) while just tree seniors start on defense. The schedule lightens up in 2013 - the three Big Ten teams MSU misses next years are Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State.
  • Dion Sims will be a mismatch nightmare and become a star.
  • MSU should not burn the redshirts for receivers Burbridge and King. Since burning their red-shirts vs. CMU, they have hardly seen the field - and now the conference season and heavy weights await. 
  • The chUMps are over-rated. They are benefiting from a media that was ignoring a very favorable schedule in 2011. Many people somehow translated the recruiting hype from the 2012 class (this year's true freshman) and 2013 verbal "commitments" (kids still in high school right now) into victories for this year's team from Ann Arbor.

Appearances can be deceiving:

The drops by the receivers place pressure on every other aspect of the game. Kirk Cousins and every other QB miss passes. The difference for Kirk? His receivers caught the ball and moved the chains, so when he missed passes in 2011, it generally did not hurt them. Now, we sit 1st  long, 2nd and long and 3rd and long. It screws up the use of the play book and destroys rhythm. If the team can not execute the plays they know best, how will they do if MSU tries something new by "adjusting"? What goes through Maxwell's mind after four, five, six previous passes were dropped? It has to mess with him. He has to press. Not moving the chains changes the whole energy from the sidelines to the fans to the defense - which is back on the field after too many 3 and outs. Drops are a deflating cancer. There are a lot more things wrong than drops, but if you were going to prescribe a treatment plan - that is were you would start. Catch the ball. Move the chains, get some rhythm, aid the development of your new QB, give the defense some support, open up the play book. It all starts to roll. When you see Maxwell miss or throw short on 3rd down - just remember, the impact of it may not be as big if the drops were not there or it could be a symptom of the drops. Maxwell will be better when the receivers are better, so will O-Coordinator Roshar, so will the defense, so will the o-line, so will the running game, etc...

chUMps fans kept pointing out that MSU will have no offense with what the Spartans lost form 2011. I heard at least one Spartan fan say he thinks maybe they were right and our fans were drinking kool-aid to think otherwise. What do you think?

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1 comment:

  1. I think thus far that the chUMp fans are right. We have no offense if we don't have a passing game. The Irish keyed on the run and stopped it because we can't throw and catch.

    If we had the QB and WR's I thought we might have, we would be 4-0 have a top ten ranking and be be wondering which team would upset us to keep from an undefeated season.

    Now that reality has set in, we need to go back to passing fundamentals. We'll see if OSU keys on the run. I hope it doesn't cost us a pick six. Every score is going to be valuable on Saturday.


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