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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

MSU FOOTBALL FRONT-BURNER: Part 3 - Neighborhood Bully/Feasting on Huskers (MSUSpartan76)

Our weekly feature on MSU Football brings diverse responses to
a variety of questions related to the Spartans program. 

Because of the significance MSU-UM Rivalry Game and bye week results,
This FRONT-BURNER is presented in multiple installments.

We encourage reader comments. Click the link at the bottom of the post.

Part 1 (The Rivalry Game Aftermath & 
MSU Football All-Access Video on UM Game)
 Part 2 (Featuring ATownAndDown)

PART 3 (Featuring MSUSpartan76)

1. How do you view UM's back-to-back collapse? What does it mean for the MSU Football program?

MSUSpartan76 (Follow him on M-Live)
Many saw it coming, especially given the narrow escapes versus Akron and at UConn. The only surprise is not that Nebraska did well in rushing defense, but rather that Nebraska did as well as they did. They had the blueprint handed to them.

What does it mean to the MSU Football program? The first game was a win. Wins are good. That win is merely one of five steps taken towards the goal of a Rose Bowl.

The second game silenced all the yammering about a comeback and going to the B1G Ten Championship Game and a bunch of other dUMb chUMp talk. MSU Football program is building success upon success and that is completely devoid of any assistance from that school down the road.

One side benefit is a seemingly growing tsunami of defections both from the Little Missygan roster and newly pledged recruits. Whether this transforms from a perception to a reality is yet to be seen.

2. Nebraska entered the game with UM as the #9 rushing defense in the B1G. They held Michigan to -20 yards rushing and tallied 7 sacks. Did MSU expose just how bad Michigan is and Nebraska simply followed up with a repeat OR did MSU break Michigan's spirit making it easy for Nebraska to put up MSU-like numbers against them? Is MSU "that good" OR did Nebraska's success leave doubt about the quality of MSU's defense? Will any MSU victory other than beating Ohio State "prove" that MSU is really what their stats say they are?

MSUSpartan76 (Follow him on M-Live)
The Spartan Dawgs are that good. The Spartan rush defense has held every opponent below season rush offense averages with 7 of 9 opponents being held to 50% or less of their season averages.

The chUMps rushing offense has not been exceptional all season. In fact, it was already on a downward slope going into Spartan Stadium.

The chUMps rushing yards versus the season average rush defense by opponents and the delta between the 2 numbers are tabulated:

  • vs Central Michigan 242 yds (No. 106, 214.4 yd/gm) +27.6
  • vs Notre Dame 186 yds (No. 61, 159.6 yd/gm) +26.4
  • vs Akron 177 yds (No. 59, 156.7 yd/gm) +20.3
  • at Connecticut 192 yds (No. 64, 160.8) +31.2
  • vs Minnesota 113 yds (No. 40, 147.0 yd/gm) -34.0
  • at Penn State 149 yds (No. 56, 155.4 yd/gm) -6.4
  • vs Indiana 248 yds (No. 108, 217.4 yd/gm) +30.6
  • at Michigan State -48 yds (No. 1, 43.4 yd/gm) -91.4
  • vs Nebraska -21 yds (No. 63, 160.0 yd/gm) -181.0

It is clear that the chUMp rushing offense was being held below their opponents' defensive averages once they came back from UConn. It is also clear, with the IU game being the exception, that the rushing productivity was falling. Even with 4 OTs, the rushing versus Penn St. was well below their season average.

Prior to the MSU game, the Little Missygan ball club was ranked about No. 50 averaging about 187 yds/gm. In only 2 games were they significantly above that average and those games were against opponents with no rush defense to speak of. Read that as cupcakes. After the Spartan and Cornhusker debacles, the chUMps dropped to No. 96 (135.3 yd/gm) rushing offense. One must wonder, where is the threat?

It's obvious from the data that the chUMps went over a cliff when they took on the Spartan Dawgs. They were exposed and the obvious conclusion is Nebraska watched the game film and saw how to take it to the Ann Arbor Charm School ball club. Did MSU break the chUMps spirit? Maybe. Certainly the second embarrassment did and we can expect to see more of the same going forward. One can only speculate if Ohio State will do as well.

Given the media bias, it is doubtful that even beating the Buckeyes will prove anything about MSU football. Winning the Rose Bowl might.

3. You engage in or read a lot of MSU-UM social media. How would you characterize the Michigan fan-base reaction? How has the media handled the Michigan football situation in your opinion? Any surprises?

MSUSpartan76 (Follow him on M-Live)
No, not really. There is a whole bunch of gnashing of teeth and calling for coaches to be fired. Their house of cards has collapsed and they have no means to support their arrogance, try as they might.

4. In the wake of the Spartans success against UM and Michigan's exposed ineptitude, comment on the way you see MSU players and coaches responding in the media to being in the state's power position. Do you see any MSU players or coaches being unprofessional or exhibiting a certain "pride before the fall" type attitude?

MSUSpartan76 (Follow him on M-Live)
It's another win and they have moved on. That domination game is over and in the books and they are not looking back. The Spartans have gotten back to work. The lion is back in the cage until it is once again opened in Lincoln.

5. Do you have any messages or suggestions for Spartan fans eager to chime in? How should Spartan fans "handle success"? How should Spartan fans interact with UM fans in social media or personally?

MSUSpartan76 (Follow him on M-Live)
Act like you've been there before. You have. No need to embarrass or belittle a vanquished opponent. No need to disrespect another team, fan, player, or coach. Move on, get your beer cold and your nachos hot because there is more football to come. Get ready to make the B1G Ten howl (with apologies to General Sherman).

6. It seems every year UM is "down", the Big Ten is viewed and being "down". This was the perception the last time MSU won the Rose Bowl and in Nick Saban's last year in East Lansing when the Spartans recorded victories over Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Florida as well as during Mark Dantonio's most successful seasons. Can the media ever consider the Big Ten as having a strong year if UM or Ohio State is not ranked?

MSUSpartan76 (Follow him on M-Live)
It does seem to not matter what the other schools in the B1G Ten do with their out-of-conference schedules. It does seem to matter a small amount that MSU lost to ND, but counts for nothing when the Spartans win.

Simple answer is yes, but... it will more or less take a sweep of the bowls to turn it around in short order. Otherwise it will take a National Title by one of the non-protected schools. But until it happens we will continue to have media bias and a whole bunch of dUMb chUMp talk to put up with.

7. What would you like Spartan fans to know or consider about this Saturday's game in Lincoln?

MSUSpartan76 (Follow him on M-Live)
It's a game. Enjoy it. Win or lose, cheer them on.


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