This is a new column where we talk about Big Ten football. I will cover Michigan and Michigan State this week and talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of each team’s performance the previous week. We will also discuss next week games and key factors to watch for.
Michigan Wolverines clobbered the Central Michigan Chippewas 59-9 on Saturday August 31, 2013 before a sellout crowd in the Big House.
The Good: Michigan did what your suppose to do to an inferior opponent by beating them in every faucet of the game. Michigan dominated the Chippewas in yards 463-210 and was able to get some underclassmen valuable minutes of game action. The run game was unstoppable this week as Michigan racked up 242 yards in 47 carries which is a 5.1 yards per carry average. I was pleasantly surprised to see Michigan adjust so seamlessly from a spread read option which they were last season team to more of a pro style team.
The Bad: When the score is 59-9 there’s really not much that went wrong when you win by 50 points but Michigan did throw three interceptions and I would’ve loved to see a more polished passing game. I’m still waiting to see that game breaker wide receiver who can consistently get open and become a nightmare but the season is still early.
The Ugly: The loss of running back Drake Johnson could be big. Johnson was expected to compete for the backup job with incoming freshmen Derrick Green. You can never have too much depth at running back because they can be prone to injury with all the hits they take and having good backups is a necessity.
Next Week: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be in Michigan Stadium to take on the Wolverines in a prime time marquee matchup of traditional football powers. The three keys to for Michigan Wolverines to win this game are winning in the trenches, quarterback mistakes, and minimizing opponents big plays. I look forward to watching this game as the last few games have been classics.
Michigan State Spartans defeated the Western Michigan Broncos 26-13 on Friday August 30, 2013 in weather delayed downpour.
The Good: The defense was excellent forcing four turnovers and even scoring points for the offense. They held the Broncos to 11 yards rushing on 27 carries and a total of a paltry 204 yards. They also held the Broncos to 193 yards passing on 18-48 passing. The Spartans rushed for 181 yards on 42 carries for a 4.3 yards per carry average.
The Bad: The passing offense was terrible 17-37 for 116 yards with no touchdowns or a wide receiver with more than 34 yards receiving is an abomination.
The Ugly: Jim Bollman is the offensive coordinator and this is what I feared because of his propensity to call conservative offensive plays with repetition. Bollman in my opinion was never a great play caller or a great offensive lineman coach. At his last two stops at The Ohio State University and Boston College he was renowned for a lackluster offensive output. He calls the same plays and really doesn’t show very much diversity in his game plan. He seems to think that the offense can execute any play he calls and maybe he should think that but realistically in these days of college football keeping defenses off balance is paramount to success. Sparty with him at the helm it maybe a long season.
Next week: Up next is South Florida who is coming off a drubbing to McNeese State. The score was 53-21 and the final score may not indicate how lopsided the game actually was as it was 40-7 only a few minutes into the third quarter. The keys to victory for Michigan State Spartans are defense, run the ball, and win turnover margin.