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Monday, December 31, 2012

Return2Glory Comments on Recent M-Live Posts - Read 'em Here

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Some of these comments are aimed more at other reader comments than the actual story. You can open each story if you care to see the context of my comments...

Re: Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell's leadership overcomes personal disappointment of benching in bowl game
Odds on favorite... Maxwell.
8 Minutes Ago

Re: Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell's leadership overcomes personal disappointment of benching in bowl game
Maxwell has not just lost his job. Has has invited many guests in to join the open house party for the competition though. Dantonio's plan A will be to use the competition to make everyone better - particularly his 5th year senior who will have all his receivers back and maybe a more consistent playing group protecting him. I believe any of the QBs Dantonio might select next fall will have a far far better year than Maxwell had in 2012 - and so will the team, even if its Maxwell again in 2013. Magically, Roushar will look better too. That's explained a few posts down...
9 Minutes Ago

Re: Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell's leadership overcomes personal disappointment of benching in bowl game
Clearly there are issues on the offensive side, but to think it's all on Roushar shows limited vision. When the team has difficulty executing bread and butter plays leaving the team bad down and distance situations series after series, game after game - all season long, "creative playing calling" will not create sustained drives. When the whole thing is out of sync due to drops, misfires, a patch worked and ever changing O-line, bad routes, poor decisions, penalties, etc., play calling becomes a nightmare. Plays are supposed to build on each other, fulfilling a game plan over time. When it doesn't happen at all - for the reasons stated, it restricts options in the playbook because you are desperately trying to avoid ANOTHER bad down and distance situation. Rousher was just as much a victim of the offensive problems or probably more, than he was a cause.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Why Does This Bowl Game Seem So Different?

This BWW Bowl game is a weird one for me. I can't recall having less enthusiasm about a post season Spartans game. Is it because other fans are not lit up about it? Is it because the game this year were generally not fun due to an out of sync offense - even though they were close? Is it because of unmet raised expectations? Am I just too busy and it has nothing to do with the team or the 2012 season? What is it?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Morning Spartans Sports Section, 12/16/12

Updated links are found 24/7 at the bottom of the blog page. Visit any time, any day time get the latest Spartans news. Here is a Sample from Sunday 12/16...

MSU's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl foe: Film sessions shed light on TCU's tough defense - Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

More on Maxwell and Spartans Offensive System... Blame

More Maxwell discussion on M-Live...

ATownAndDown and Return2Glory (as BEATchUMps) chip in to the discussion. Note how A-Town handles a simple minded reader who accuses him of being stupid...

MSUSpartan76 also appears to do his homework...

Spartan Bob
"Even I could outrun Andrew Maxwell."
Matthew Stafford

Give-up the outdated offense. Man-up and run the spread.

Yeah... like the best teams in college football... wait... ND, Bama, and Florida are teams that have been success based on defense and running the ball. Crazy. Bama and LSU last year had QB's throwing the ball 40+ times, right?

And ND runs the ball out primarily of the spread, junior!
How 'bout that Oregon team or the Texas A&M team that beat 'Bama?
Gads you are f-ing stupid. The spread doesn't necessarily have to be - and usually is not - a pass first offense.
Educate yourself.

ND runs a single back offense... not the spread. Oregon lost to Stanford... another non-spread team. And A&M lost to Florida and LSU... non-spread teams.

And you proved the point... Look at how often A&M and Oregon line up with 4-5 WR packages? The closest thing to that, that ND does is have a 3 WR package, with Eifert (a TE) split out, and Riddick running a rout. Even on that note, if ND runs the spread, then so does MSU. How many times did MSU run 3 WR formations (even started games with 3 WR), Sims split out and Bell running a rout?

I guess you have a different definition of what constitutes a spread offense. IMO the spread offense is a system that forces the defense to spread out and allows the offense to take advantage of the weaknesses in the defense. In other words, most defenses don't have 4 or 5 guys that cover that well and/or the ability to stop the pass and not get gouged in the running game. So how exactly are you a run heavy team, out of the spread unless you are running the spread option (like Oregon or RichRod)? Seems like you are taking 2 or 3 blockers out of the game and forcing your RB to beat the 7 guys that are normally in the box in most teams base defenses.

Mike Griffith |
Yes, because the teams playing for the national title run it....wait, no they don't #SpreadIsTheGimmick

I think I can run faster than Maxwell. How about we find the right quarterback who can run the offense? He isn't capable of moving this team in "real time".
Maxwell made his share of mistakes. Very few first year QBs would have had success with the cumulative effect of all the other circumstances effecting the position this year. Be careful what you wish for in another first year QB next year. [See "Offense is an eco-system" post.]

Should MSU win the bowl, then Maxwell joins a very small group of first year Spartan QB starters with a winning season. There have been only 3 in the past 40 years. Kirk Cousins, as an example, went 6-7 his first year and he had experienced receivers to throw to. He also had a place kicker (Swenson) who hit 20 of 23 FGs compared to Conroy and 22 of 31 FGs.
Boise State: Missed 42
Central Michigan: Missed 39
Notre Dame: Missed 43
Eastern Michigan: Missed 39
Ohio State: Missed 41 (lost by 1)
Michigan: Missed 38 (lost by 2)
Nebraska: 48 (lost by 4)
Northwestern: 36 (lost by 3)

Maxwell gets all the blame, when it was the team that was playing. Too simple-minded. Offensive line, receivers, missed opportunities on defense, special teams, 1-dimensional play calling (coaches), etc., etc.

How about we have a balanced outlook on things, eh?
Michigan State, historically, takes big steps backwards when a new QB starts.

I don't think Conroy is to blame either, he was put in too many kicking situations and many very long. It was a perfect storm this year for this mess. I think injuries 1st, Maxwell 2nd and a pathetic offensive plan (Roushar & Coach D) 3rd. They seemed to march the field all year until the redzone and go 3 & out. In fact as I mentioned in another post they are dead last in the B1G for red zone td's. With that being said Maxwell isn't ALL to blame but he did not improve this year, he got worse (which scares me).

I am not going to totally blame Conroy but the guy was a career 82% kicker coming into this year and he barely clears 70%. That means he should have made about 3 more of those misses named above. Does that equate to 1 more win? Maybe.

I think while we would still be disappointed, we would look a lot different on this season at 7-5, especially if that one came at U of M. And as was stated, poor kicking was just part of the overall issues this team had.

By the way, outside of the 48 yarder against OSU (which is well within Conroy's range), those other misses were all about 40 yards which for a guy that is perfect from 50+, are not long field goals.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

M-Live Reader Comment "Pro" Backs Opinions on Spartans with Facts and Logic

Even in the "off weeks" after a hugely disappointing Spartan football, M-Live Reader and avid reader-poster, "ATownAndDown" is still bringin' it - every day.

[Personal message to ATownAndDown at bottom of post.]

Here is a sample of ATownAndDown's excellent contributions as a reader at M-Live:

M-Live Post: Re: Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell on board with Coach Mark Dantonio's covert new-look offense

One Reader's Comment: map444
Gimmicks, the last resort of a desperate man. Can no longer recruit good lineman so our QB needs to run for its life.

ATownAndDown's Response to "Gimmick" comment by other reader...
Since when is a QB moving his feet a gimmick? The fact of the matter is that college football has gone through a transition recently. You are now seeing QB's coming out that are ready to play at the NFL level because they are no longer playing in college offenses but rather are being asked to play in NFL-type systems in college. Guess what most (not all) NFL QB's have to do? Move their feet (bootleg, buy time, or scamper for yards when the defense turns it back). Changing the MSU offense to reflect that more and work with the QB's to be more of that type of QB is far from a gimmick.

As far as not being able to recruit good linemen, the entire 2009 recruiting class (that should be anchor this years line) is gone. As a result you have 2 converted defensive linemen