Yeah, there's a football game tomorrow. Here's Chris Vannini from The Only Colors.
1. What does it feel like to win a Big Ten football game?
Last year, MSU's first seven Big Ten games were all decided by four points or fewer, going 2-5 in those games. This year, they're 6-0 in the Big Ten, with all six being decided by at least 12 points. So, like, that's cool.
2. I am very very scared of Michigan State's defense. What is the least scary part of Michigan State's defense?
Probably the defensive line. On its own, it didn't get much pressure on Nebraska's patchwork offensive line, which was surprising. MSU likes to blitz. If the defensive line isn't getting any pressure on its own, that means there will have to be more blitzing. Given Kain Colter's dual-threat ability, the primary role of the defensive ends will be to contain. However, Colter seems like a guy who gets a lot of his runs going up the middle, so the tackles, who have struggled at times, will need to be able to shed blocks or at least fill gaps so the linebackers can come in.
3. Michigan State is the No. 1 basketball team in the nation right now. Jeez, can't you let us have anything? Pick one.
If it means Northwestern gets to make the NCAA tournament, I've give up basketball, because I just feel so bad for you guys and that streak. Also, it gives Izzo some backing in his criticism of the team. MSU got to No. 1, but I think he's secretly hoping MSU loses soon.
4. I remember making fun of MSU earlier in the year for being comically inept offensively. What happened? How did you figure out how to score points?
After the first few games of seeing the defense cross the goal line with the ball, the offense realized they're allowed to do it themselves. Throws have finally been going in the direction of the end zone, resulting in "yardage." The running game behind Jeremy Langford has also been strong. More than anything, the offense has avoided big mistakes. They're near the top of the country in fewest sacks and tackles for loss allowed. In Big Ten play, MSU is averaging more than 32 points per game. More than anything, the players simply started doing better. Connor Cook gets better with experience, and receivers stopped dropping every third pass. The offense has actually become quite competent, though the numbers from those first two games still weight down the season-long stats.
5. We know that he will dance to Rich Homie Quan, but what's Mark Dantonio's favorite post-game dance tune?
I'm going with 24-7 MSU. I don't think Northwestern will be able to move the ball too much on MSU's defense, but I'll always be wary of how much MSU's offense can do. If the Wildcats want to turn the ball over five times on their own side of the field like Nebraska, that'd work. Last year, MSU needed to win at Minnesota just to reach a bowl. Northwestern doesn't deserve to miss a bowl game, but that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes.