Found October 17, 2012 on 60 Max Power O:
After a humiliating and heartbreaking home loss this past Saturday to Legends Division rival Iowa Hawkeyes, the Michigan State Spartans find themselves with no margin for error for the rest of the season if they want to travel to Pasadena. Michigan State dwells just above the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Legends division cellar, and in order to climb out, they’ll need to play their best game of the season against their biggest rival, the Michigan Wolverines, this Saturday. It would be hard enough to show resolve after the way Sparty collapsed in double overtime to Iowa, but the loss could not have come at a worse time.

The Wolverines are flying very high after two very impressive wins against the Purdue Boilermakers and Illinois Fighting Illini, combining to beat the two teams 89-13. Michigan has also cracked the Top 25 once again, showing that they have shaken off some rust from their early losses to Alabama and Notre Dame. Denard Robinson looks back to form and is utilizing all of his skills both through the air and on the ground. In fact, even with star running back Fitzgerald Toussaint back in the lineup for the past few games, Robinson has shown that he doesn’t need much assistance in the run game. His 69 yard scamper against Illinois last week left pundits reminiscing about Vince Young as he made defenders look foolish with his breakaway speed and lateral movements.

On the plus side, the Spartan defense has looked great for most of the season, receiving contributions from all eleven players. Even replacements have made an impact on the unit, as Taiwan Jones started his first game in place of the injured Chris Norman and really looked good. Walk on linebacker Kyler Elsworth made two very important plays with his increased role yesterday as well, stuffing Iowa on a third down and two and then following that with a sack on quarterback James Vandenberg. Furthermore, the Spartans already have experience this season against a mobile quarterback this season when they were eked out of a victory by the Ohio State Buckeyes and Braxton Miller. Not only do they have experience though, the Spartans were very well prepared and limited Miller’s yards on the ground. 

Alas, there are a lot more questions than answers surrounding Michigan State football. There have been several injuries this season on both sides of the ball, none more so than the loss of star tight end Dion Sims. Two weeks ago, he was listed as “day-to-day” on the injury report, but when asked about his status for the Michigan game, head coach Mark Dantonio told the media that he “. . . can’t talk about injuries right now." Sims is hands down the best pass catcher on a 2012 Spartans team that is notorious for drops; however, that may not even be his most valuable asset considering how good of a blocker he can be on the outside for Le’Veon Bell.

Whatever is affecting the Spartans, they must figure it out before heading in to a hostile environment at the Big House this weekend. Otherwise, the curse of the “Little Brother” that has plagued the Wolverines will not be enough to see the Spartans through to their sixth straight win against their most bitter rival.



Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.
2 Comments:
  • Four weeks ago, this would have been an easy pick. But now, not so fast. Stanley's Stinker: Michigan State. www.StanleysStinkers.com for free podcast.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Extra Points: Michigan Football vs Michigan State

Michigan Football will host Michigan State on Saturday afternoon at the Big House. Kick off is scheduled for 3:30 and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. For a complete game preview click here: Michigan at Michigan State. For the Extra Points read on.A win would give Michigan their 900th career victory.Jordan Kovacs needs 1 tackle to become the 15th player and first...

Michigan Football is focused and ready for Michigan State

Michigan Football (4-2, 2-0) will host Michigan State (4-3, 1-2) on Saturday afternoon at the Big House. Kick off is scheduled for 3:30 and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. The Wolverines enter the contest riding some positive momentum after thoroughly dominating Purdue and Illinois to open the Big Ten campaign. Meanwhile, the Spartans are a bit discombobulated...

Michigan State Football: Whether Dantonio or Hoke, a win Saturday will solidify one of these coaches

Before taking the job as the Michigan State head football coach, Mark Dantonio knew that the criteria for longevity in East Lansing would include contending for Big Ten Championships and beating the Michigan Wolverines.Since becoming the Michigan State football coach in 2007, Dantonio has won a Big Ten Championship, contended for another, and has defeated the in-state rivals four...

The Spartans Well-Documented Offensive Woes

The 2011 Spartans were a magical team, getting a quality bowl win and going 11-3 with a legendary finish in a win over Wisconsin. The Spartans defense was also ferocious, and all fans thought although MSU lost some key components on offense, the young Andrew Maxwell and (allegedly) talented Spartan wideouts would fill their shoes nicely. BREAKING: We were wrong. Horribly wrong. At...

Dantonio - Big Ten Teleconference Audio

Listen to the audio of Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio from this weeks Big Ten coaches teleconference.

Have the Spartans forgotten: "Pride comes before the fall."

  The proverb “Pride comes before the fall” comes from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. But for Spartan fans this saying is much more than a proverb, it is the mentality of the football program and has been for five years. Following the 2007 loss to Michigan, Mark Dantonio was asked if he was aware that the Wolverines had a moment of silence at midfield to mock...

Midweek Media Headlines: Michigan State Week

It's a big week for the Michigan Football program. Even in the midst of the Tigers' playoff run, there's still plenty of hype going on around this weekend's matchup in Ann Arbor. Let's take a look at some of the mid-week headlines making the rounds by the more legit media outlets. First though, a headline from the future via the Detroit Free Press. ...

Tuesday Lowdown is tweeting we want Desmond Howard ALIVE

900. Michigan goes for program win #900 this Saturday against Michigan State. Hoover Street Rag lists the 8 century mark wins so far. Win #100: October 5, 1901, 57-0 win over Case at Regents Park Win #200: October 9, 1915, 35-0 win over Mount Union at Ferry Field Win #300: October 1, 1932, 26-0 win over Michigan State College at Michigan Stadium Win #400: October 23, 1948,...

Spartans To Embrace Pressure

Michigan State enters Saturday’s battle with Michigan looking for a fifth consecutive victory over their rival. If successful, it would mark the first time in program history in a battle that dates back to 1898 the Spartans pulled off the feat. Tuesday, Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio spoke with members of the media about the game and his team.

Michigan focused, ready for MSU DL (w/video)

Heading into a pivotal rivalry game and also in the Legends Division of the Big Ten, Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke was quick, concise and focused earlier today. It’s clear the Spartans have the Wolverines' full attention.

Hoke Big Ten Teleconference Audio

Listen to the audio from this weeks Big Ten coaches teleconference and the comments of Michigan head coach Brady Hoke.

Spartans offense sputters into game versus Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The New York Yankees picked the worst time of the year to have their bats go missing. Mark Dantonio understands the feeling all too well. As Michigan-Michigan State week kicks off, the Spartans head coach finds himself with an offense that has ranged from mediocre to awful this season. The low point came Saturday, when Michigan State lost 16-13 in double...

Michigan St.-Michigan Preview

Michigan has met Michigan State on the football field more than 100 times since 1898, winning more than two-thirds of the games. The Spartans, though, have had their way with the Wolverines lately. ''They took it to us four straight years and that's something we're aware of,'' Michigan linebacker Desmond Morgan said. And if Michigan State can pull off an...

Early Analysis: Michigan State vs. Michigan

Michigan State at No. 23 Michigan Saturday, 3:30 PM Big Ten Network Line: Michigan -9 The Paul Bunyan Trophy is one of the largest trophies in college football, standing over nine feet tall from its base to the top. The current class of Michigan seniors has never seen the trophy, as Michigan State has won the last four matchups. Michigan comes into the game ranked and with...
College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.