3 issues we realized
Ball insecurity: The Spartans dedicated seven turnovers in Mel Tucker’s first sport as head coach, their most in a sport since committing seven and one way or the other beating Minnesota 43-36 on Nov. 14, 1981. Six of these in opposition to Rutgers got here on offense — three from QB Rocky Lombardi (two interceptions and a fumble), two fumbles by WR Jayden Reed and one from RB Jordon Simmons. The opposite got here on a Jalen Nailor muffed punt. The Scarlet Knights pressured simply 10 takeaways all final season. Probably the most turnovers MSU dedicated in a sport below Mark Dantonio was 5, in a loss to Ohio State on Oct. 18, 2008.
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Completely different protection: MSU unveiled a revamped 4-2-5 protection in opposition to Rutgers that used LBs Antjuan Simmons and Noah Harvey within the center. The Spartans rotated a bunch of gamers within the again 5, beginning with Chris Jackson and Kalon Gervin at nook, Xavier Henderson and Tre Particular person at security and Shakur Brown because the nickelback. It took 1 / 4 to settle in, notably after the Scarlet Knights’ 75-yard scoring drive to open the sport. After that possession, MSU allowed simply 201 yards the remainder of the sport.
Skinny spots: There are a number of positions the place MSU is scuffling with depth, notably at linebacker and offensive deal with. LT AJ Arcuri and RT Kevin Jarvis, coming again off a season-ending proper knee damage, performed the complete sport. The Spartans already have been with out RT Jordan Reid and OT Justin Stevens (opt-outs), and LT Devontae Dobbs and RT Mustafaa Khaleefah weren’t energetic Saturday. Beside Simmons and Harvey, who mixed for 20 tackles, Chase Kline was the one different LB to play.
Matchup: Michigan State (0-1) at No. 14 Michigan (1-0)
Kickoff: Midday, Saturday, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
TV/radio: Fox; WJR-AM (760), WWJ-AM (950), WTKA-AM (1050).
MEET MR. MILTON: Michigan seems to be good in crushing Minnesota, 49-24
Know the foe: The Wolverines went on the highway and dominated No. 21 Minnesota on the highway, 49-24, and defensively regarded stronger as the sport progressed. QB Joe Milton impressed in his beginning debut, going 15 for 22 for 225 yards with a TD by the air and 52 dashing yards and one other TD on the bottom. He unfold these completions round to 9 completely different move catchers, none getting greater than 4. RBs Hassan Haskins and Zach Charbonnet mixed to run for 152 yards and three TDs, every breaking off runs of longer than 65 yards. But it surely was U-M’s protection that grew extra ferocious late within the sport, sacking Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan on three straight performs within the fourth quarter, two of them from DE Kwity Paye. The Wolverines held the Morgan and Rashod Bateman-led passing sport to only 197 yards by the air.
3 issues to observe
Rivalry reversal: Michigan has overwhelmed MSU two in a row within the collection, and Jim Harbaugh has gained three of the final 4 conferences after shedding his debut in 2015 on the bobbled punt snap and Spartan return for a TD. All-time, the Wolverines have dominated MSU, 71-36-5. This marks the primary back-to-back video games in Ann Arbor 1956-57, each Spartan victories.
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Operating in place: It’s probably the most cited stats between MSU and U-M: The crew with probably the most dashing yards has gained 45 occasions within the final 50 rivalry video games. The Spartans’ struggles on the offensive line and at working again continued within the opener, as they totaled simply 50 yards on 39 makes an attempt. The Wolverines have held the Spartans to only 69 yards on 53 makes an attempt previously two conferences, and the held the Gophers to 129 yards on 41 makes an attempt Saturday.
Discovering the zone? Even with a brand new teaching employees and struggles to run the ball, MSU managed to submit as many factors Saturday because it did in its final sport, their 27-21 Pinstripe Bowl win over Wake Forest. The Spartans averaged 22.4 factors final season, ending one hundred and fifth out of 130 Soccer Bowl Subdivision colleges and twelfth within the Huge Ten. Previously three video games in opposition to the Wolverines, MSU has been outscored, 75-31, and final yr’s 34-point loss worst defeat in Mark Dantonio’s 13 video games in opposition to U-M.
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This text initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State soccer: What we’re watching getting into Michigan week