3-2-1 Preview: 3 things we want to see, 2 key stats, Minnesota’s best bet vs Michigan State

Saturday’s game could be as close to a ‘must win’ as you’ll find in September for coach Mel Tucker and Michigan State.

Or even if calling it a “must-win” sounds too extreme, I think we can all agree that this is a crucial Big Ten opener against Minnesota.

Below is a rundown of the things we want to see from the MSU team, and help us Get to know Minnesota betterSo let’s get straight to it!

3 things we want to see

Bounce game from the offensive line

Is it unfair to place the bulk of the pressure of this game on the shoulders of the collective offensive line? I’m sure I don’t think so!

Look, we know the Spartans defensive secondary team has massive struggles, but so does Minnesota’s passing game with first goal Chris Autumn Bell out of the season. And clearly, the Minnesota attack, Mohamed Ibrahim, will be a spectacle worth watching (more on them later). But based on what we saw in Seattle on Saturday against Washington, it’s clear that the offensive streak can dictate what kind of night Michigan State will have.

MSU’s running game was so bad against Washington, the Husky’s running defense wasn’t even a unit that beats the world. The Minnesota defense has been gritty this season, carrying opponents at just 2.8 yards per carry.

However, there are two reasons to believe that this must have been a suitable place for the Spartans’ offensive line. 1.) Minnesota’s opponents were mainly the Minneapolis Volkswagen team, the Mall of America security team and the Minhaka Academy tennis team (well, it was New Mexico State, Western Illinois and Colorado, but still). So, 2.8 yards per load is not who – which Impressive when you look at who played Golden Gophers. 2.) The Gophers also only have six sacks against that weaker competition, which is the second worst competition in the Big Ten.

If Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne can go most of the afternoon without messing with his life, and if MSU can continue their game, I’d love the Spartans to win the race to 28 points. This responsibility rests on an offensive line that struggled hard at the end of last week.

Don’t let the 3rd/4th drop break every vertebra in your back this time

The most recent back-break this past weekend was the third and fourth turn down that Washington was getting as you wish. On Washington’s second landing flight, the Huskies diverted the third and sixth vehicles. On the stiletto landing drive just before the break, the huskies turned 4th and 5th.

With the same amount of damage, even in the MSU goal-line stops, there were conversions from the 4th, 5th, 3rd, 12th, 3rd, and 8th. Both of these drives had ample opportunities to get off the field, but instead turned into impressive stops at the 1-yard line. …as disaster happened quickly afterwards thanks to a poor field location.

Taking advantage of these opportunities is clearly easier said than done, as shown last weekend when Husky dogs didn’t really have to strain those conversions. Also, Minnesota shifted the number three spot to its lowest statewide at 77.5 percent. Now that number is sure to drop in the end as only one team did

one season???

Will he kill this team until he gets one (1) handicap before the start of October?!

In fact, you know what might try me even more? Only if something came close to intercepting a lane or two. Most of the players playing once in the last week watched the receiver catch the ball without any spartans even in the frame of the camera.

I’m good. All is well. Go get them, boys.

2 main stats

(Enter literally any statistic for Mo Ibrahim here)

Minnesota return, Mohamed Ibrahim, is the closest thing to a Madden Create-A-Player character. Ibrahim’s seven landing points make him the best performer for the nation. Having 154.7 yards per game he is the second best player in the country. Its 6.9 yards per carry is the best in the Big Ten among racerbacks with at least 35 carriers. He has 12 consecutive games over 100 yards.

Point blank, man is a work horse work horse.

I think Michigan State’s claim to stop Ibrahim might be a bit unrealistic, but MSU can certainly mitigate the damage. It would be an even tougher task if Jacob Slade was still out again, but MSU’s defensive front is still deep, and the Spartans’ defense over the past two seasons has been gritty.

November 16, 2019

This is the last time Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan threw for over 300 yards. That was the 10th week of the 2019 college football season, however, Minnesota had moderate success despite those numbers from the game manager-style quarterback.

This suggests two things – Minnesota will go as far as Abraham takes, and MSU High School may not be in danger this week…maybe. Look, if Morgan throws the ball all over the yard on Saturday and rips Michigan State without his top goal, there are very serious defensive issues and it’s time to go to Defcon 1.

1 best bet

Michigan State +2.5, over/under 51

I can sit here all day and make arguments about why the state of Michigan is truly underdog in this game. I could also spend an extra day talking about why this line is a bit illogical.

I Think MSU wins this game, but with the ups and downs of the Spartans and Las Vegas putting this stinky streak out there, my confidence in betting on them actually isn’t there.

So we’ll go ahead and get that over 51. I trust the Minnesota attack – and almost any attack from the Power Five, really – to put the scores against the Michigan State defense. On the flip side, I think MSU is doing the same and making the pass game go against the Minnesota AH defense.

picking above 51

register: 3-0 (!!!!!!)


What’s your best bet for a Saturday afternoon?

  • 23%

    Minnesota -2.5

    (34 votes)

Total votes 147

vote now