MSU Football Looks for Fifth Straight Victory Over Michigan
After a week laden with criticism, the Michigan State Football team looks to rebound against their rivals from Ann Arbor.
Coming off a double overtime loss at the hands of Iowa, MSU has shocked fans with wildly inconsistent play, most notably from the offense. Quarterback Andrew Maxwell finished with 179 yards, a paltry 38% completion rate, and an interception that was tipped at the line, which clinched the victory for the visiting Hawkeyes. The lone diamond in the rough for the offense was tailback Le'veon Bell, who finished with 140 yards and one touchdown. Like a broken record that won't shut off, the MSU offense couldn't sustain any long drives nor put up enough points to help the defense.
Michigan, on the other hand, cruised to a 45-0 thrashing of Illinois. The Illini looked overmatched from the start, with a 71 yard pass, and 49 yard run by quarterback Denard Robinson—each for touchdowns.
Saturday's showdown looks to house two teams going in complete different directions. When you have a vaunted defense like the Spartans though, any game is winnable, and what will be the key to victory be?
Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers.
After coming off a 2011 campaign in which the Spartans forced nearly two turnovers a game, it has steadily dropped to a shade over one per game this season, including zero defensive touchdowns in games against teams not named Central Michigan. With a turnover-prone quarterback in Robinson, who threw three interceptions in last years matchup, including one returned for a touchdown, the opportunities will be present, and it's up to them to capitalize. According to Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi, the Spartans had FOUR dropped interceptions in the game versus Iowa.
I'll let that sink in.
Interceptions or not, it's extremely hard to see the MSU offense put up enough points to outlast the potent UM attack. Look for the Paul Bunyan Trophy to make its return to Ann Arbor for the first time since the Bush administration.
Michigan State: 13 Michigan: 21