Michigan State Spartans
Head Coach: Mark Dantonio 8th season 51-28
“In a Word”…Playmakers…The Spartan WR’s had a major case of the dropsies in 2012…the pass efficiency ranking was dangerously close to the bottom in the country at 114th…but with all the key cogs back in the passing game, that has to improve right?…there is no way that kind of season happens back-to-back seasons….right? I think Andrew Maxwell has the tools (probably better ones) than Kirk Cousins did. Stronger arm…better accuracy..he can’t help it if his WR’s can’t catch…I am expecting much better results from WR’s this season led by Aaron Burbridge..I would also keep an eye on DeAnthony Arnett. If he comes around in 2013, the Spartans will be very dangerous…but the WR success goes hand in hand with a decent running game…and the running game in 2013 isn’t as imposing as it was with Le’Veon Bell…but it should be just as effective by committee. Right now, it seems that carries could go to as many three kids…Nick Hill, Jeremy Langford and Riley Bullough…so while none of these athletes strike fear into the hearts of Big Ten DC’s..the O line in front of them should. MSU brings back eight starters to the offense including three to the O line…not all of them started last year..Fou Fanoti is back from an injury and the recent retirement of Skyler Burkland will not help depth issues. But Fanoti, Dan France, Jack Allen and Blake Treadwell will make this one of the better units in the conference.
“In a Word”…Dominating…MSU finished a lofty fourth in the nation in total defense allowing just under 275 yards per game in 2012..they lost some say their best player in William Gholston to the NFL but with seven starters returning I expect no let downs and for the 2013 Spartan defense to not only be one of the best defensive units in the Big Ten but also nationally. The front seven is going to be spectacular at run defense..(ho-hum)..what else is new? I just hope for Spartan fans DC Pat Narduzzi doesn’t go too far trying to generate a pass rush with new schemes and nuances that will put his defense in too many positions where they are susceptible to big plays. When you have a defense that is so strong at most everything and you get knocked around for not having success rushing the passer, guys like Narduzzi can get that stuck in his head and might obsess about it…while it may be a concern, it’s not like MSU is in the PAC 12 where a pass rush may be a little more important…with guys like Marcus Rush, Tyler Hoover, James Kittridge and Shilique Callhoun up front and Max Bullough, Denicos Allen and Taiwan Jones make up one of the better fronts in all of college football…and the secondary….with Isaiah Lewis and Kurtis Drummond at the safeties and Trae Waynes and Darqueze Dennard at the CB’s…there should be very little concern…however…if a pass rush doesn’t come along every now and then, they will be tested.
Michigan State 2013 Schedule
Friday night at the Smokestack gets the season underway vs Western Michigan…followed by South Florida and Youngstown State coming to East Lansing…then MSU travels to South Bend to round out the nonconference slate…the Big Ten agenda begins on the road at Iowa, then Indiana comes to MSU for homecoming along the Red Cedar, with a visit from Purdue the following week…The Spartans go to Illinois, host Michigan and get a bye…they finish the season with roadies vs Nebraska and Northwestern and conclude the season at home vs Minnesota. The Notre Dame game could be interesting…it should be a W for MSU, but if ND QB Tommy Rees can get a passing groove going…be careful..but the Big Ten gets off to a very cushy start and with OSU, Wiscosnin and Penn State off the schedule, the time for MSU to get back to the Big Ten title game is now…can they find enough offense is the biggest question in East Lansing this summer.
Michigan State Could’s Should’s and Will’s
Michigan State could reach the November 2nd game vs Michigan 8-0.
The Spartans should improve their passing game…no way 2012 happens all over again…not even close.
MSU will split its last four games..with a win and a loss at home and a win and a loss on the road.
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