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Game day eve: Time for your analysis and predictions

Nothing like a heartbreaking loss that drops a team to .500, followed by a bye week and an eventful start to basketball season to make football season seem less the story.

But alas, Michigan State football is back with one more home game, and a relatively important at that one for its diminished bowl picture.

Jacksonville or Tempe — that’s what’s on the line. Actually, if it were only about those two cities, MSU might want to lose on purpose. But the Gator Bowl, on New Year’s Day, is the more prestigious finish and what’s probably at stake Saturday.

I like MSU’s chances against Northwestern. But I’ve picked much of this season wrong, mostly because I haven’t completely respected a series of run-first QBs which have managed to do enough with their arms to beat the Spartans. Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez was the best of the group so far.

Again I have my doubts about an opposing QB who’s more athlete than passer. Northwestern’s Kain Colter is less a passer than Martinez or Braxton Miller or Denard Robinson. At least that’s my perception. The use of backup Trevor Siemian only makes the Wildcats’ intentions more obvious. That said, this is a football team that’s one seven games, a number of them close. MSU is never in anything but close games and hasn’t won many of them. Good luck picking this one.

And with that, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

MLM89 came closest to picking the score of the Nebraska-MSU game, predicting the Cornhuskers 20-16, hitting the margin exactly.

GreenGuy is still in the lead among our group with two wins. AAsparty, Marky Mark, Lancelot, MD and MLM89 have one each.

Your analysis and predictions, please.

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51 Responses to Game day eve: Time for your analysis and predictions

  1. avatar MayoSpartan says:

    Graham, if the content is good the interest would be greater. There are plenty of football fanatics out there waiting to read more about the departing seniors, their contributions to the program, a little about their families and plans after college. Or, who’s had nagging injuries and healed or haven’t healed so well during this much needed bye week.

    Inferring that visits and click thrus is the end all, be all of measuring interest assumes the content is there… and it aint!

    MSU 27- 17, our Spartans atone for gabbing to the beat writers about Rose Bowl, National Championships, the “woodshed”, playing time and officiating. They play with a chip on their shoulder from the fist kick-off to the clock shows 00:00 and dominate. M. BenVereen averages 1.3 YPC and their tandem QB rating is sub 80… Maxwell throws 2 TDs and Bell runs for another and Conroy is 2 of 3 … missing from the right hash mark on his first attempt. Roushar has the Flu and excuses himself from the booth after the first possession and Warner assumes the OC duties.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      The contents ship sailed with Mr. Rexrode Mayo.

    • avatar Graham Couch says:

      MayoSpartan, I believe we’re providing that. You should understand that Rexrode is still our beat writer. That’s not my role. And between he and myself, Solari and Calloway (our MSU team), I think the coverage is pretty thorough.

  2. avatar LeeBee says:

    ALAS? Perhaps someone else should cover football.

  3. avatar Trophy says:

    Just like this football team, my prediction record is only .500, but I’m not going to change now. It only took 10 games, but the Spartans have their sh!t together now. Defense will stop NW, less than 200 yds total offense. Balanced offensive attack will rule time of possession and score points. MSU 28 – nw 10.

  4. avatar marky mark says:

    Hey Graham I should have 3 wins, I picked Iowa, UM and Nebraska.

    N.W. 27-17
    This team lacks discipline, penalties will hurt them again as usual!
    Maybe they’ll learn how to win a close game and won’t blame the refs!

  5. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    What’s left to be said? Only games left to be played. Much talent that has never quite jelled this year. Injuries, part of the luck involved in sports has played a BIG part. And that goes beyond the major obvious ones to the nagging day to day ones that don’t incapacitate. I will be in my usual section 21 row 27 seat come Saturday to cheer them on. 24-21 Spartans.

    A reprise from week one of this season when all was bright for the Usual Suspects. The row is adjusted to fit the song.

    Oh, when the moon shines down and cools the tar up on the roof
    And band gets so loud you wish your tired ears were sound-proof
    Under the vid-board, down in row 23 yeah
    On a bleacher with my son is where I’ll be

    (Under the vid-board) out of the sun
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be havin’ some fun
    (Under the vid-board) people screaming out loud
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be showing some love
    Under the vid-board (vid-board!)

    From the crowd you hear the happy sound of a Spartan yell.
    Mm-mm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and popcorn they sell
    Under the vid-board, down by row 23
    On a bleacher with my son is where I’ll be

    (Under the vid-board) out of the sun
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be havin’ some fun
    (Under the vid-board) people screaming out loud
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be showing some love
    Under the vid-board (vid-board!)

    [break]

    Oooooh, under the vid-board, down in row 23, yeah
    On a bleacher with my son is where I’ll be

    (Under the vid-board) out of the sun
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be havin’ some fun
    (Under the vid-board) people screaming out loud
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be showing some love
    Under the vid-board (vid-board!)

    • avatar behind the green curtain says:

      MSU leads the whole game, the kids are playing their butts off, but than the coaches screw it up
      MSU leading 20-14 just needs to kneel down as the clock runs out but rushes a field goal.The kick is blocked and returned , 9 point swing

      SPARTY NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Northwestern 21
      MSU 20

      Afterwards Ghost of Biggy laments the loss of the previous coach.

      • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

        No you’ve got that wrong. Actually this year the coaches are coaching their butts off and the players are screwing it up.

  6. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    The Michigan State defense will rise up and shut down the Northwestern offense. It’s going to be a low-scoring battle with mistakes and field goals being a big deal, but in the end, it’s going to be dogfight that goes down to the final play. These two are used to that.

    Friday Prediction: Michigan State 16 … Northwestern 13

  7. avatar AAsparty says:

    last second field goal breaks the tie, make it MSU 24, Cats 21

  8. avatar marky mark says:

    If anyone needs tickets they have them on StubHub for an outrageous price of three dollars!!! LMFAO while ROFL!!!

  9. avatar LancelotSpartan says:

    MSU wins 31-21

  10. avatar AGSpartanFan says:

    Well, you said it right Graham… the trip to Germany and huge win in Hot-lanta Tuesday almost made us forget about football.

    We’re 10 points from Pasadena by way of Indy instead, but agree, while PHX is nice than JAX, the Gator Bowl is a better game. And it could be MSU v MSU.

    A bye always seems better mid season, but win or lose v Nebraska, this one came at the right time. Injuries have healed. Bruised egos and physches too.

    I think Bell will be the difference maker. NU will score some points and gain yards, but Bell could, should and will wear the Wildcats out.

    In a battle for Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda Kings of the B1G… MSU wins 27-20.

  11. avatar ceguru88 says:

    I like MSU somewhere in the neighborhood of 27-16. While I agree with the comparisons between NW and some of the other teams we’ve played, I think the biggest difference is MSU should have a physical edge against NW. I look for MSU to be able to run first on offense and I think the defense will contain NW, at least in terms of points, although I could see some methodical NW drives between the 20s.

    In the end, talent wins and I also think MSU will play one of its more complete games coming off the extra week’s prep.

  12. avatar behind the green curtain says:

    MSU leads the whole game, the kids are playing their butts off, but than the coaches screw it up
    MSU leading 20-14 just needs to kneel down as the clock runs out but rushes a field goal.The kick is blocked and returned , 9 point swing

    SPARTY NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Northwestern 21
    MSU 20

    Afterwards Ghost of Biggy laments the loss of the previous coach.

    • avatar LeeBee says:

      Only JLS would make that bone-head, face slapping decision. Interesting how discipline has eroded from a fine Arkanas team as the players don’t call their coach “Coach” — thay address him as “John L” Unheard of in good programs.

  13. Marky Mark, your stupid.

  14. avatar Jason Tufnill says:

    I’m going MSU 77-2 Northwestern and Michigan are terrible and Michigan State is the best team in NCAAF right now.

    They’d even roll Bama’

  15. avatar GreenGuy says:

    Wow … so much angst flowing within the blog. Guess I’ll try to be in my “glass half full” mindset today.

    I know Colter left the game vs. weasels…I missed an update on his status. Will assume he plays.

    NW in that hurry-up but disciplined spread is a handful, especially with the speed of Colter and that TB Venrick Marks ???. MSU will struggle a little to contain the QB draws and read option stuff (again), but will cause a fumble and get a pick. NW with 160 yds rushing, 110 yds passing. However, MSU only allows one TD and three FGs (with the help of the previously predicted turnovers).

    MSU’s offense on the other hand…needs to grind out the game on the ground (NW’s tackling can be Keystone Cop esque!) and limit the time the NW is on the field. A healthy D. Sims dominates with 6 receptions, 1 for a TD. Bell goes for 130 yds and 1 TD. LT takes another step at FB with great lead blocking and 2 receptions.

    MSU wins 20 – 16 with NW driving late in the 4th Q for what looks like another MSU defensive collapse. NW misses on a 4th and 4 from the MSU 22 yd. line with 1:00 remaining, MSU takes a knee for the W.

    This game is really about setting up 2013…win it and have a chance at 7-5 and the Gator Bowl. Those 15 extra practices are desperately needed for this program. Lose, and risk going 5-7 and no bowl…

  16. avatar MLM89 says:

    Northwestern has too much speed. The D will once again fail in a clutch 4th quarter situation. The “Woodshed” is infested with termites and falling apart.

    NW 28 MSU 20

  17. avatar GreenGuy says:

    Hmmm…conspiracy theory here – my comments and prediction filed Friday were deleted or not passed by the moderator. Nothing inflamatory was included.

    That said, I’ll be totally PC with my prediction: MSU 20 NW 16

    NW gets 160 yds on the ground – actually a good job by the D most of the day. 1 fumble recovery and 1 pick help the cause. 4th Q scare with NW driving deep into MSU territory, but MSU holds on a 4th and 4…then runs out the clock.

    1 TD from Bell, 1 TD from D. Sims. 2 of 3 on FG attempts for Conroy.

  18. avatar CWebb says:

    “Pride comes before the fall”, Samdantomtonio. Very prophetic. MooU is back to where it belongs. Bottom of the league. Enjoy all the extra days you’ll get to recruit during owl season.

    Football in the state has returned to where it should be…UM at the top, and Mooie nothing more than a Little Brother.

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      Hey loser, scUM has beaten absolutely no one. They need a last second field, at the big outhouse no less, to eeek by a 5-6 MSU team, congrats. scUM is at the top of nothing, the losing streak will start again next year in East Lansing.

  19. avatar CWebb says:

    Jason, go back to MSU Community College and “lern” how to properly use “your” and “you’re”.

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