Friday, September 7, 2012

Keys to victory for MSU, Michigan in Week 2

3 keys to victory for MSU vs. Central Michigan
Silence the crowd early: The Chippewas are going to look to feed off the emotion of hosting Michigan State. The crowd of around 35,000 should be on fire early on. The Spartans need to quiet that crowd quickly and now allow the Chippewas to feed off that energy. Getting the ball to start and driving right down the field would be the best way to get that done.
Pound Green Pound: Michigan State established a steady run game against Boise State last week. In the early part of this game, the Spartans should do the same. The Spartans need to give Andrew Maxwell a chance to improve, but not at the expense of the team. MSU should use its bigger offensive line and Le’Veon Bell to set the tone early and then let Maxwell attack the CMU secondary.
Be prepared for anything: The Spartans have a tremendous defense, but they can’t get cocky. Central Michigan could unload the playbook offensively, which means MSU needs to play disciplined football. The linebackers will have to stick to their assignments and watch out for misdirection plays. CMU should know it can’t try to push the ball right up the middle of the MSU defense, so it will look to find other ways to move down the field.

3 keys to victory for Michigan vs. Air Force
Forget last week: It has been said plenty of times by Brady Hoke and many Michigan players, but the Wolverines have to forget about last week’s loss. Dwelling on it will cause the Wolverines to start 0-2. This isn’t an easy game by any means, so Michigan needs to take the Falcons seriously.
Open up the playbook: Michigan was criticized for not using Denard Robinson much in the run game last week. That may have been a conservative approach to playing against a physical team in a non-conference game. However, the Michigan offense needs to find some success this week and gain confidence. With Fitzgerald Toussaint back, I expect Michigan to be more aggressive on offense and work Robinson more into the rushing game. If Michigan wants him to pass, start him off with some quick throws to build his confidence.
Stay disciplined on defense: Similar to what I said about MSU, Michigan needs to play disciplined defense against the Air Force option. If the Wolverines stick to their assignments, they shouldn’t have much trouble containing the option. The more Michigan can force Air Force into third-and-long situation, the better the day will be. 

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