Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Quickie pre-game thoughts

With a half-hour to go before the Michigan-Michigan State game:

♦ I usually hate a ball-control, time of possession, keep the other team's offense off the field, type of game plan, but I think that's exactly what Michigan will have to do to beat Michigan State. I love to see Michigan throw the ball (especially the deep ball), but I think they'll have to pick their spots today. If Drew Stanton gets to run a lot of plays, and the Michigan defense has to stay on the field constantly, the Wolverines are in trouble.

♦ The most important players for Michigan today? Running back Mike Hart, who has to keep the Michigan offense churning and gaining first downs (and doesn't fumble), and linebacker David Harris, who I imagine will be "the spy" in Michigan's defense. He'll have to watch Stanton closely, like I watch that last slice of pizza in the box.

♦ I heard on the WJR pre-game show that Steve Breaston isn't going to play because of an injured shoulder. My first thought? That might help Michigan, because he hasn't done much of anything this season. Yet Michigan needs all the points it can get today, and could really use the old superstar kick/punt returner to gain good field position and/or score a touchdown.

♦ Prediction (which I intended to post yesterday)? I bet Lloyd Carr has been playing the underdog card all week with his team. (Has it really been 37 years since Michigan State was favored in this match-up?) I feel like they can somehow come up with a way to win the game.

Yet Logical Ian thinks MSU knows it should've won last year's game (against a better Michigan team) and has revenge in mind on its home field. I'd be surprised if Michigan's defense can hold MSU to fewer than 30 points (especially if it doesn't blitz and get in Stanton's face), and even if it does, I don't think Michigan's offense can score more than 30 points. (The only way that can happen is if the defense forces turnovers or makes a play on special teams.)

So I'm guessing the score will be Michigan State 34, Michigan 24.

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