Preview: Michigan vs. Michigan State

Preview: Michigan vs. Michigan State


November 15, 2019

RUSH OFFENSE vs. MSU RUSH DEFENSE

Michigan is #57 in rushing offense (170.7 yards/game) and #76 in rushing average (4.23 yards/carry), but they’re tied for #19 in rushing touchdowns (23), which shows how dedicated they are to the run when they get into the red zone. Freshman Zach Charbonnet (559 yards, 11 TD) and redshirt freshman Hassan Haskins (426 yards, 2 TD) have turned into a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield. The wild card for Michigan is quarterback Shea Patterson, who has been hesitant to keep the ball but already has more rushing touchdowns (5) than last year (2). Michigan State is #16 in rush defense (108 yards allowed/game), even after getting drubbed by Ohio State a few weeks ago, when they gave up 6.83 yards/carry on 49 attempts. Leading tackler Joe Bachie got suspended for the rest of the year for use of PEDs, which is the norm in East Lansing, so the leading available tackler is linebacker Antjuan Simmons (6’0″, 216 lbs.). Simmons and defensive end Kenny Willekes (6’4″, 260) lead the team with 12 and 9 tackles for loss, respectively.
Advantage: Michigan State

Hit the jump for more.

PASS OFFENSE vs. MSU PASS DEFENSE

Michigan is #78 in passing offense (219 yards/game) and #79 in passer efficiency rating, despite a senior quarterback and a trio of highly touted receivers; Shea Patterson himself is #8 in the conference in PER and yards per attempt (7.5). Despite not playing much against Maryland two weeks ago, Ronnie Bell leads the team with 28 catches for 471 yards. Behemoth wideout Nico Collins is averaging almost 20 yards per catch, but the most puzzling one is Donovan Peoples-Jones, who averages a pedestrian 10.1 yards/catch on 20 receptions. Michigan is #33 in sacks allowed, giving up 1.56 per contest. The Spartans are tied for #29 in sacks with 25, led by Willekes (5.5) and Raequan Williams (3.5), a 6’4″, 303 lb. penetrator. Overall, MSU is #53 in passing defense (215 yards allowed/game) and #57 in PER defense. Josiah Scott (5’10”, 171) is the top cornerback with 2 interceptions and 4 pass breakups.
Advantage: Michigan

RUSH DEFENSE vs. MSU RUSH OFFENSE

Michigan is tied at #21 in the country, giving up 112.7 yards/game on the ground. Teams are gaining just 2.86 yards per attempt against the Wolverines, which is #9 nationally. After getting shredded by Wisconsin, Michigan has allowed fewer than 2.9 yards per carry to each team, except the 3.8 they gave up to Penn State. Viper linebacker Khaleke Hudson leads the team with 77 tackles, followed by weakside linebacker Jordan Glasgow (63) and safety Brad Hawkins (50). Weakside end Kwity Paye leads the squad with 10 tackles for loss. Michigan has often been running a three-man front, getting better athletes on the field instead of another so-so defensive tackle. Michigan State is #108 in rushing offense (130.9 yards/game) and #101 in rushing average (3.76 yards/carry). Lead running back Elijah Collins (6’0″, 217) has run roughshod over a couple bad defenses this year (45 carries for 362 yards against WMU and Illinois), but against ranked teams, he has 54 carries for 188 yards (3.48 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown. Quarterback Brian Lewerke (6’3″, 216) is a Shea Patterson-like threat with 265 yards and 1 touchdown this season. Nobody else has gained even 80 yards this year. Up front MSU’s offensive line is missing a few pieces, including its starting left tackle, left guard, and center.
Advantage: Michigan

PASS DEFENSE vs. MSU PASS OFFENSE

Michigan is #5 in pass defense (153.6 yards/game) and #15 in passer efficiency rating defense. No team has completed more than 56% of its passes against the Wolverines in the last five weeks, and Penn State made some big plays in the form of slot receiver K.J. Hamler. Cornerback Lavert Hill leads the team with 6 pass breakups, with corner Vincent Gray (5) and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (5!!!) just behind. Hill, corner Ambry Thomas, and safety Brad Hawkins each have 2 interceptions. SAM linebacker and part-time end Josh Uche has 7.5 sacks, while Paye has 5.5. Michigan State is tied for #17 in sacks allowed (12), but they’re #65 in passing offense (235 yards/game) and #110 in passing efficiency. The Spartans have not completed more than 58.1% of their passes over the past six weeks, and Lewerke’s passer rating is #11 in the conference. Leading receiver Darrell Stewart, Jr. is not expected to play after suffering a leg injury and tight end Matt Dotson is out for the year, so the Spartans have just one receiver averaging multiple catches per game: junior Cody White (6’3″, 215), who has 37 catches for 527 yards and 2 scores. Tight end Matt Seybert (6’4″, 252) has 19 catches for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns. There’s not a lot of speed on the edge for the Spartans.
Advantage: Michigan

ROSTER NOTES

  • MSU players recruited by Michigan include: WR Julian Barnett, OL Spencer Brown, OL Devontae Dobbs, TE Matt Dotson, OL Kevin Jarvis, DT Naquan Jones, QB Brian Lewerke, LB Marcel Lewis, OL Jordan Reid, LB Antjuan Simmons, LB Tyriq Thompson
  • MSU safety Tate Hallock and linebacker Tanner Hallock are the sons of former Detroit Lions FB Ty Hallock
  • MSU linebacker Tyriq Thompson is the son of former Michigan safety Clarence Thompson
  • MSU linebacker Ed Warinner is the son of Michigan offensive line coach Ed Warinner

LAST TIME THEY PLAYED…

  • Michigan won in 2018 by a score of 21-7
  • Shea Patterson completed 14/25 passes for 212 yards, 2 TD, and 0 INT
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones caught a 79-yard TD pass
  • Karan Higdon ran 33 times for 144 yards
  • MSU quarterback Brian Lewerke completed 5/25 passes for 66 yards
  • MSU ran for a total of 15 yards on 23 carries

PREDICTIONS

  • Michigan State hits a trick play for big yardage
  • Kwity Paye makes 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks
  • Michigan 28, Michigan State 10

15 comments

  1. GKblue
    Comments: 321
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Nov 15, 2019 at 9:24 PM

    UM is the better team.

    We can’t give the ball away early. Don’t let State get in our head, don’t let them build a head of steam. Pressure the hell out of Lewerke on D. On offense if they flood the box make them pay.

  2. GrandLake
    Comments: 76
    Joined: 8/22/2019
    GrandLake
    Nov 16, 2019 at 8:13 AM

    Another example of 2 teams moving in opposite directions. Barring multiple Turnovers by UM there is little chance for MSU to put points up. Think MSU will play a very slow tempo game hoping to keep it close and Shea will have to throw the ball as MSU focuses on stopping run. Feels like a 17-7 halftime game that ends 34-7. Almost want it to be closer so Mork can stick around next year and finish 4-8.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1277
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Nov 16, 2019 at 12:36 PM

      oops

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 348
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Nov 16, 2019 at 8:26 AM

    Michigan states trick play blows up in their face and goes for big yardage for Michigan……….. (think Mort’s 2 pointer that Peppers Salted)

    Fuck State & Snow. I’m watchin this game in The Keys……..
    Go Blue!
    Intjohn

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 11
    Joined: 9/25/2019
    BigCatsFanLandP
    Nov 16, 2019 at 8:57 AM

    What’s the over/under on how many times we get to Spartys side of the field and don’t score.

    My instinct tells me we’ll see a lot of run, run, (3rd and 5 or 6), pass, sometimes punt, sometimes 1st down, the net being an inability to sustain drives, and me hitting the 1.5L. Basically a repeat of what I’ve seen far too many times to count.

    There, now that I’m on the record, M can prove me wrong and make the old liver happy.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 5498
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 16, 2019 at 10:18 AM

    I hope this is a game-long celebration but expect more drama than that.

    LB looks fine for us but it would have been nice to have Simmons stay in AA.

    • GrandLake
      Comments: 76
      Joined: 8/22/2019
      GrandLake
      Nov 16, 2019 at 4:04 PM

      Wouldn’t mind having Barnhart either. Good WR and think he would be even better DB.

      • GrandLake
        Comments: 76
        Joined: 8/22/2019
        GrandLake
        Nov 16, 2019 at 4:06 PM

        Barnett…

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 1277
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Nov 16, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    For those posters still disputing that Dantonio coaches the pants off of Harbaugh every time…I offer the 1st quarter as further evidence.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5498
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Nov 16, 2019 at 3:41 PM

      hahahaha

      Best post yet WCB.

  7. Lanknows
    Comments: 5498
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Nov 16, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    The chaser here should be the guy who thinks it’s abundantly clear that Ronnie Bell needs to be on the bench.

    • GrandLake
      Comments: 76
      Joined: 8/22/2019
      GrandLake
      Nov 16, 2019 at 4:02 PM

      In addition to all his yds receiving, Bell threw some great blocks on a few run and passing plays. Excellent overall performance.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5498
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 16, 2019 at 6:42 PM

        Yep. WR blocking on the outside was good all day but Bell had some excellent ones.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5498
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Nov 16, 2019 at 6:45 PM

        Bell just gets it. Never stops competing and looking for opportunity. That’s why Shea is always looking for him when things break down.

  8. Avatar
    Comments: 348
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:59 PM

    This is the Harbaugh inspired sparty asskikin I’ve waited 5 years for………..

    NOW!!! Tho……. Indy took at PSU to the mat………
    if these guys celebrate too long & start lookin to OSU , Indy will beat em.
    Respect the Hoosiers & beat the Hoosiers…….INTjohn

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