Michigan State - First Half Thoughts

1st Downs108
Rush Yards95100
Pass Yards4362
Total Off.138162
Some random first half impressions from the MSU pressbox.

• Michigan warmed-up in their usual away jerseys, but came out for the game in an away version of the same legacy uniform they wore for the Notre Dame game. No big block M on the front, though. I like the look. If MSU is going to do it, we should too.

• Penalties (by MSU) and wind playing a huge roll in this game so far. Oddly no turnovers. I don't see this game ending without a turnover or two.

• Michigan's first drive was a mix of read plays and short passes. Obviously scripted. But they moved the ball well. The fake FG looked like an option, which MSU defensed well, but Dileo made a good effort to get the first down.

• The touchdown run by Denard on the first drive was the result of an MSU blitz, which was picked up, but caused Denard to make some magic with his feet, which he did.

• MSU looked strong on their first drive. Stronger on the run than on the pass. They did what many teams have done to us, which is try to spread us out with a lot of off-tackle and pitches. Very little up the gut until the touchdown run from the 1 yardline. Interesting to see how this plays out as Michigan's adjusts.

• Hoke was willing to play the field-position game n 4th and 4 early in the second quarter. Did it pay off? Not really. We did stop them on their second 3rd down of the drive, but a nice punt by Sadler put Michigan at their own 30.

• Its safe to say that Michigan is still getting used to playing on the road. East Lansing being a hostile environment, probably the most hostile we'll see all year (away games coming up are at Iowa and at Illinois). A few times Michigan needed to call a timeout to avoid a delay of game. I believe Michigan had one delay call early in the game.

• Throwing the ball, obviously not Michigan's strong suit today, at least so far. A lot of poor throws to guys who are covered, especially when other receivers/running backs are wide open. One pass from Denard was so bad it was uninterceptable. MSU having a tough time with some passes hitting the hands of receivers and not being caught.

• It will be interesting to see what Michigan adjusts at halftime for the second half. I think we did a pretty good job adjusting to what MSU was showing us offensively. Clearly, a new gameplan needs to be thought up to move the ball more effectively and get Denard/Devin some completions.

1 comment

  1. 3 drives (granted, thanks to many bad MSU penalties) stalled in MSU territory hurt. But I think you have to give props to Hagerup for pinning them back 3 times