Keys to an MSU Bowl Win
Stopping Trevone Boykin
I remember when pro style offenses were the norm in the Big Ten. In fact, that was only a few years ago. Back then, when MSU would prepare for a dual-threat quarterback, like TCU’s redshirt-freshman Trevone Boykin, we’d all wonder how the defensive game plan would work out. But now, playing against the Boykin’s of the world is second-nature.
And the Spartans have done well (for the most part) against those offenses this season (at least in my opinion). Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Everett Golson, Notre Dame (12-0)
Season Averages: (Passing: 15.1-25.6, 194.1 yards, 11 TD, 5 INT. Rushing: 8.1 carries, 27.7 yards, 5 total TD’s)
Against MSU: (Passing: 14-32, 178 yards, 1 TD. Rushing: 3 carries, 7 yards, 1 TD)
Result: 20-3 loss
Braxton Miller, Ohio State (12-0)
Season Averages: (Passing: 12.3-21.1, 169.9 yards, 15 TD, 6 INT. Rushing: 18.9 carries, 105.9 yards, 13 total TD’s)
Against MSU: (Passing: 16-23, 179 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. Rushing: 23 carries, 136 yards, 0 TD)
Result: 17-16 loss
Denard Robinson, Michigan (8-4)
Season Averages: (Passing: 8.9-16.6, 131.9 yards, 9 TD, 9 INT. Rushing: 15.4 carries, 116.6 yards, 7 total TD’s)
Against MSU: (Passing: 14-29, 163 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. Rushing: 20 carries, 96 yards, 0 TD)
Result: 12-10 loss
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska (10-3)
Season Averages: (Passing: 16.3-11.1, 205.6 yards, 21 TD,10 INT. Rushing: 13.5 carries, 74.8 yards, 10 total TD’s)
Against MSU: (Passing: 16-36, 160 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT. Rushing: 17 carries, 205 yards, 2 TD)
Result: 28-24 loss
Kain Colter, Northwestern (9-3)
Season Averages: (Passing: 7.6-11.1, 66.3 yards, 8 TD, 2 INT. Rushing: 13.1 carries, 68.3 yards, 12 total TD’s)
Against MSU: (Passing: 13-20, 81 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT. Rushing: 6 carries, 28 yards, 0 TD)
Result: 23-20 loss
Quite honestly, how do you really read how MSU’s defense did against dual threat quarterbacks? All five games resulted in losses, so you may have your answer. However, only Taylor Martinez and Braxton Miller defeated MSU with their legs, while, Miller was the only one to throw the ball well against MSU. And still, the Spartans woulda, coulda, shoulda, won the games. Interesting.
I am confident however, that if the Spartan defense does to Boykin, what it did to everyone except for Braxton Miller, they will win.
Making up for Johnny Adams’ likely absence
It’s not going to be easy to replace a 2-time, Big Ten 1st team all-conference selection. Although Johnny has been criticized for giving up the big play this season(i.e., against Ohio State), in my mind, he’s done just fine. You have to consider that he’s been picked on by opposing offenses more than in previous seasons - not because his talent level has declined, but rather because of the emergence of Darqueze Dennard. Dennard is more physical at the line and won a lot of battles at the ball. Add in the fact that Trenton Robinson isn’t around to help break up the deep balls and it appears that Adams hasn’t been as good this season, despite good numbers.
For those of you who still think that Adams has been subpar, consider this: MSU’s passing defense is ranked 9th in the country (173.7 ypg) despite the fact that we’ve seen much less of a pass rush from the defensive line..
Fellow senior Mitchell White is expected to start opposite of Dennard. But don’t be surprised if Pat Narduzzi and Coach Dantonio go with redshirt-freshman Trae Waynes for a heavy chunk of the game. Who knows, we may even see wide receiver Tony Lippett play some snaps at corner as well.
Run Le’Veon, Run!
Just give him the football! It could be the last time we see him on the field as a Spartan. He ranks 3rd nationally (137.3 ypg) and has the second highest single season rushing total in MSU history (1,648).
Bell’s three highest rushing totals (210 vs. Boise, 253 vs. EMU, 266 vs. Minn) this season have equaled wins. The more carries, the more yards, the merrier.