Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Little Brother Scale after Week 2

Week 2 of the college football season was an opportunity for progress for both Michigan and Michigan State.
The Spartans were hoping to see improvement in their offense against a weak Central Michigan defense while Michigan was hoping to make strides on both sides of the ball against Air Force.
Michigan seemed to find its offense last week, racking up 422 yards. Denard Robinson looked like the Denard Robinson we know, as he rushed for 218 yards and threw for 208 with four total touchdowns.
Wolverine fans should feel better knowing that Michigan should be able to move the ball going forward. There aren’t many defenses like Alabama’s in the Big Ten.
What does have to concern Michigan fans is that Air Force put up 25 points and 417 yards on the Wolverines. Only three times last year did a team put up 25 points or more against Michigan and now that has already happened twice in two games.
The loss up front from last season has clearly been an issue for Michigan. The Wolverines need to be able to rely on their defense in close games and I don’t think that is something they can do right now. As we know, Michigan’s offense is still limited when facing a fast and physical defense. The Wolverines still have a few of those defenses on the schedule, so the Michigan defense will need to step up in those games. Playing UMass this week should help create some confidence on the defensive side of the ball.
For MSU, the Spartans dominated Central Michigan and didn’t allow a touchdown on defense for the second straight contest.
It appears the Spartans’ defense is as good as advertised, but this week against Notre Dame will really tell us if the Spartans have a top 5 defense.
Andrew Maxwell and the young MSU receivers made improvements against the Chippewas as well, but it appears that the Spartans have a simple formula for success.
MSU will use its defense to keep the score low, manage the game offensively with a steady diet of Le’Veon Bell, and put Maxwell in low-stress situations where he can succeed and not cost Michigan State the game.
Right now, MSU is much better built to play its style of football than Michigan is to play its style.
For that reason, Michigan fans have to be growing more concerned about Oct. 20, and I see the Spartans taking another slight step up in the Little Brother Scale
LITTLE BROTHER SCALE: MSU 17¾, Michigan 14¼ 

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