• Game of the Week Preview: Michigan State vs. Michigan

    In the latest edition of The Gaming Tailgate's Game of the Week, we head up to Ann Arbor where the Wolverines and Spartans each enter the game at 5-0. The winner will get huge bragging rights within the state and also stay tied atop the Big Ten Standings.

    Michigan is led by sensational QB Denard Robinson who leads the country in rushing (181 YPG), is second in total offense, and is fourth in passing efficiency. His explosive skills have him among the early Heisman Trophy hopefuls according to StiffArmTrophy.com and he has led UM to a 3-0 record in games decided by seven points or less. The Achilles' heel for the Wolverines is clearly their defense as they rank 102nd in total defense nationally.

    The Spartans have rolled to an impressive 5-0 start, highlighted by their stunning overtime victory against Notre Dame and a win over Wisconsin. Not to be outdone by Robinson, MSU QB Kirk Cousins ranks 13th nationally in passing efficiency. The defense has been solid, led by superb linebackers Greg Jones and Eric Gordon.

    Can Robinson lead the Wolverines past the tough Spartans defense? Will Michigan State get the win as head coach Mark Dantonio rejoins the team after health concerns? Click Read More for the video preview of Michigan State vs. Michigan.


    Spoiler: show
    Michigan State 25, Michigan 17

    Player of the Game:
    Michigan State K Dan Conroy 4 of 4 FG (Long of 51), 1-1 XP

    Leaders:

    Passing
    Michigan State: QB Kirk Cousins 20 of 27, 223 yards, 2 TD
    Michigan: QB Denard Robinson 15 of 27, 261 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

    Rushing
    Michigan State: HB Edwin Baker 28 attempts, 168 yards
    Michigan: HB Vincent Smith 8 attempts, 19 yards

    Receiving
    Michigan State: TE Charlie Gantt 3 rec., 85 yards, 1 TD
    Michigan: WR Roy Roundtree 4 rec., 110 yards, 1 TD

    Scoring Summary

    1st Quarter
    4:26 TD MSU: K. Nichol, 5 yard pass from K. Cousins (D. Conroy kick)
    1:10 FG MSU: D. Conroy, 23 yard FG

    2nd Quarter
    5:47 TD Mich: D. Stonum, 7 yard pass from D. Robinson (B. Gibbons kick)
    3:39 FG Mich: B. Gibbons, 40 yard FG
    1:54 TD Mich: R. Roundtree, 54 yard pass from D. Robinson (B. Gibbons kick)

    3rd Quarter
    5:37 FG MSU: D. Conroy, 45 yard FG
    4:03 FG MSU: D. Conroy, 51 yard FG

    4th Quarter
    3:16 TD MSU: C. Gantt, 46 yard pass from K. Cousins (2 Pt failed)
    0:12 FG MSU: D. Conroy, 37 yard FG
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Poll added

      Who win win?

      - Michigan State
      - Michigan
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      I'm going with the road team again (I didn't learn my lesson from last week) and think MSU will prevail. The Michigan defense is pretty poor and I think MSU can slow down Robinson enough to help them get the win.
    1. psusnoop's Avatar
      psusnoop -
      Quote Originally Posted by cdj View Post
      I'm going with the road team again (I didn't learn my lesson from last week) and think MSU will prevail. The Michigan defense is pretty poor and I think MSU can slow down Robinson enough to help them get the win.
      I agree, I think the MSU defense does just enough to get the win this weekend.
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      Michigan State is good against the run, but not so much against the pass. I think this is the spotlight type of game a guy like Robinson is looking for. I think he'll come up big with his arm early to where he may exploit the defense with his legs after he opens things up. I'm gonna go 44-40 Michigan.
    1. steelerfan's Avatar
      steelerfan -
      I'm going with Michigan. Neither of them are on OSU or Iowa's level (IMO), but I'm less impressed with MSU so far. Maybe it's just perception, but I think UM is playing better football right now.
    1. morsdraconis's Avatar
      morsdraconis -
      Robinson will finally get slowed down (since Michigan is FINALLY playing a team worth a spit) and Michigan State is going to run right over top of Michigan.
    1. JeffHCross's Avatar
      JeffHCross -
      I got this really random bad taste in my mouth when I saw the title of the thread.

      Imagine that.
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      Quote Originally Posted by JeffHCross View Post
      I got this really random bad taste in my mouth when I saw the title of the thread.

      Imagine that.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      The homer in me says Michigan but obviously I have big concerns about Michigan's defense. Their defensive game plans have been horrible. The worst part of the team is the secondary which is garbage. It's filled with freshman playing that are not ready to play yet. And yet Michigan constantly rushes only 3 guys, often asking Craig Roh to drop in coverage, and ask their secondary to cover longer. Stupid. Furthermore, they play a lot of zone which requires smarter play that they are incapable of leading to massive coverage breakdowns and big plays. They need to rush 4-5 every down and play more man to man.

      As for Michigan's offense I expect them to be really good. I think Rich Rod will have to open the passing game up a little more and use more play action to keep them from keying on Denard. Michigan's defense isn't nearly as bad against the run as it is against the pass (I'll call it mediocre at best) but if MSU simply tries to pound the ball all day I think they will regret it. Attacking Michigan's secondary is like taking candy from a baby. It's almost criminal not to pass against them.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      Well this game sucked for me yesterday. Michigan's defense actually played well in the first quarter before they got gashed by some big plays. At least the play calling was better. The players just didn't execute well as expected. And that certainly includes S Gordon (#4) who seemed to be missing tackles or out of position and almost every terrible play on defense. But a lot of the blame has to go to Denard Robinson imo. Those two red zone INTs were massive. Both times those receivers were open and he threw the ball 2-3 yards behind the receiver ending up in an INT. That's a 14 point swing. That doesn't include some the one big overthrow in the first half either. He's been pretty accurate this year so this was disappointing. He'll have to rebound quickly. MSU did a great job of containing Denard in the ground game and he couldn't make them pay in the passing game.
    1. psusnoop's Avatar
      psusnoop -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
      The homer in me says Michigan but obviously I have big concerns about Michigan's defense. Their defensive game plans have been horrible. The worst part of the team is the secondary which is garbage. It's filled with freshman playing that are not ready to play yet. And yet Michigan constantly rushes only 3 guys, often asking Craig Roh to drop in coverage, and ask their secondary to cover longer. Stupid. Furthermore, they play a lot of zone which requires smarter play that they are incapable of leading to massive coverage breakdowns and big plays. They need to rush 4-5 every down and play more man to man.
      As for Michigan's offense I expect them to be really good. I think Rich Rod will have to open the passing game up a little more and use more play action to keep them from keying on Denard. Michigan's defense isn't nearly as bad against the run as it is against the pass (I'll call it mediocre at best) but if MSU simply tries to pound the ball all day I think they will regret it. Attacking Michigan's secondary is like taking candy from a baby. It's almost criminal not to pass against them.
      That is too funny, as I have been saying that forever about PSU. I despise their zone coverages, cover 3 and such. They just do not run enough man coverages thus when you have inexperienced players playing for you there is usually holes, soft spots, seams, and running lanes to abuse.

      That said, Denard will run for over 400yds against PSU if healthy and RR allows him to run zone read all day.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      The game against PSU is in Happy Valley. UM's defense will cure PSU's offensive problems. I wonder who gets the nod at QB next week for PSU?