The Skinny: Michigan State University Spartans (M.S.U.) (2-1) vs. Eastern Michigan University Eagles (E.M.U.) (0-3)
Saturday September 22, 2012 at Spartan Stadium, E. Lansing, MI
T.V.: Big Ten Network at 3:30p.m.
Last week: M.S.U. vs. Notre Dame University: M.S.U. lost 3-20. E.M.U. vs. Purdue University: Eagles lost 16-54.
Growing up in the 1980’s on the east side (“EASTSIDE!”) of Michigan things got a little rough every now and then. Some of you may relate to this sequence of events; the bigger kids picked on (read beat up) the little kids and then the little kids in turn gave even littler kids a bigger beating. That’s how I see this game between M.S.U. and E.M.U. A 0-3 E.M.U. team will face a very mean and nasty Spartan unit and they weren’t the ones that made them mad! This game isn’t about if M.S.U. wins but how well they improve in the areas they were so horrible in last week.
Former University of Michigan Defensive Coordinator, Ron English was named Mid-American Conference (M.A.C.) Coach of the Year last year by leading the Eagles to their first six win season since 1995. Despite this accomplishment, the Eagles don’t seem to be carrying any momentum over from last season. In their first three games of 2012, the Eagles have allowed two 100 yard rushers and one 200 yard rusher. In short, the E.M.U. defense doesn’t pose a threat to stop M.S.U. This game is the perfect time for the M.S.U. offense to hone its game to prepare for the upcoming Big Ten season.
Immediately after their lose to the Irish last week, M.S.U. coach Mark Dantonio said “tough decisions” would be made in regards to personal on the offensive line. In that light, the most interesting thing to watch on Saturday will be to see who plays on the O-line and how well they perform against an average M.A.C. defensive line. The Spartans O-line gave up four sacks and nine hits on starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell against Notre Dame. That performance must improve against the Eagles and beyond for M.S.U. to have any chance of returning to the Big Ten Championship game.
Prediction: Michigan State will win by at least 20 points, but that’s not the real concern here. Again, Spartan fans should be looking for great improvement on both the offensive line and the chemistry and timing between Maxwell and his receivers. Patience is a virtue and thankfully M.S.U. can afford plenty of it against the Eagles. The schedule is not so forgiving after this one.
About the Author
Written by Andre' Wiegand
A life long Michigan State University Spartan fan! My grandfather played on the Spartan O-Line back in 1951 and my family has been Spartan fans since. 1999 M.S.U. graduate (JMC). Currently live in Grand Rapids, MI with my wife and two sons.