Scouting Report and Prediction: MSU vs. the Minnesota Golden Gophers

A look at this week’s opponent…

The Golden Gophers were decimated by former head coach Tim Brewster.  In my opinion, he destroyed the program that Glen Mason had built.  This is a team of great kids and a very good staff, but they are truly in rebuilding mode.

When MSU has the ball…

The Spartans need to simply do what they do.  The talent gap is so wide with these two teams.  MSU needs to come out and impose their will.  They will run and they will pass and there is very little intrigue here. 

Iowa lost last week because they took the Gophers for granted.  MSU won’t.  The Iowa loss is a gift to Coach D.  He is using it to once again find a way to motivate a team that has had four big emotional games in a row.

It is hard to say what to expect, because MSU is going to just pound green pound and try to get as many players reps as possible.  If Andrew Maxwell doesn’t play AT LEAST the entire fourth quarter then this game is a big disappointment to me.

 

When MSU is on defense…

MSU is used to running QBs and if Gray (the MN QB) was on UM, Nebraska or OSU he would he nationally respected.  Dantonio wanted him and recruited him out of high school.  He is a monster.  He is strong and he is a stud.  He doesn’t have much talent around him, but here is the biggest key for the Spartans.

 

You can’t have the Sportscenter type hits that the Spartans seem to do from time-to-time.  For those of you who aren’t aware what I mean, it is when they don’t do the boring textbook tackle.  It is when they try to hit and knock people down.  Gray is a QB that can’t be taken down with the Sportscenter hit.  The first man to get to him has to use the textbook technique, hold on, and wait for reinforcements.

 

If the Spartans come out and just take care of their business, they will be fine.  Watch for textbook tackling because they have spent a lot of time in practice this week working on it.

 

Intangibles…

There is one big intangible for this game.  That intangible is simply the Michigan State Spartans.  Do they come out on a mission?  Mark Dantonio is a master motivator and he hasn’t made this game about Minnesota.  He is using a “November is for Contenders” mantra as he tries to make this more like an NFL playoff push.

If MSU comes out like the better team that they are and they take care of business, this is a blowout.  If the Spartans have a residual let down from the Nebraska beat down, try to be Sportscenter heroes, and take the Gophers lightly then they could be upset.

One thing you have to credit the Gophers for is that they don’t quit.  They don’t like their new coaching staff…they love them and play hard.  If they are up or down 50 they don’t stop fighting. 

 

Prediction… 

Michigan State is on a mission.  I don’t think they take Minnesota lightly.  There is great leadership on this team.  They will come out on a mission and the Gophers will be the victim.

I want a nice boring game.  I want MSU to run the ball down the throats of the Gophers and I want to see AT LEAST the fourth quarter of Andrew Maxwell.  Come in, execute, and leave.  Michigan State knows what they are playing for.  This is essentially a playoff atmosphere and they take care of business.

Make it MSU 42 and Minnesota 10.