Michigan State has answered critics calls thus far and marched out to a relatively easily 3-0 record.
The topic at this week’s regular post-practice player discussions at No. 2 Michigan State was as novel as it was easy to guess: injuries.
This is a situation the Spartans (3-0) have become used to – having to avoid an upset in a game they’re expected to win comfortably. “That’s something that, whatever scheme we are playing, we have to take that physicalness, that preparation, fits, and I thought we tackled pretty well”.
John Bonamego: “I think it gives you confidence knowing that you can match up and go toe-to-toe with anybody”.
The Washington win was the Huskies’ last in a rivalry that’s been historically lopsided since. These two games are where Sparty will have to flex their defensive muscles, which is looking like a favorable matchup against a struggling Ohio State offense. Don’t get me wrong, there have been stretches where Calhoun has not lived up to the hype of his jaw dropping start to the 2013 season when he recorded 3 defensive touchdowns in the Michigan State’s first two games, but he once again flashed his potential as a game changer against CMU.
Central Michigan has a history of ruining the day for Michigan State, having shocked the Spartans three times since 1991. The Spartans are preparing to play the first half without LB Riley Bullough, who was ejected for targeting late in last weekend’s win over Air Force.
If Central Michigan is going to be a contender for the MAC West Division title or even the MAC Championship, it has to go through the ringer which begins with Northern Illinois and rival Western Michigan while continuing down the road with Toledo.
Nine penalties for 70 yards helped kill several drives, while a fourth-quarter lost fumble by senior wide receiver Jesse Kroll essentially sealed it with CMU down two touchdowns at that juncture.
“We don’t break down”, the fifth-year senior defensive end said. CMU has averaged just 2.5 yards per rush this season, which really will hinder their ability against Michigan State. You know what we have to get done. Aaron Burbridge and Macgarrett Kings Jr. have combined for 526 receiving yards and four touchdowns while R.J. Shelton has nine receptions. We can beat anybody on any given Saturday.
Altogether, the Chippewas were able to outgain the Spartans in total yards, 340 to 324.
Michigan State has won 15 straight non-conference home games against unranked opponents, though the last team to break that trend was the Chippewas with a 29-27 victory in East Lansing in 2009.
Michigan State is going to want to run the football early, if they can pound the rock with Madre London and LJ Scott, it will open up the pass game and allow Cook to have a solid game through the air as well. Talented MSU freshman cornerback Vontae Copeland suffered a season-ending injury against Oregon and the Spartans have been in mix-and-match mode with their secondary since then.