MSU needs its OL to pave the way; TTU at... the University of the Incarnate Word? The Enlightened Spartan: MSU needs its OL to pave the way; TTU at... the University of the Incarnate Word?

Monday, December 28, 2009

MSU needs its OL to pave the way; TTU at... the University of the Incarnate Word?

The Michigan State football team left East Lansing and arrived in San Antonio on Sunday to begin its preparations for the January 2 stint against Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl (ESPN, 9 pm). If you are in the Lone Star State, head on over to San Antonio and give a high-five to Mark Dantonio and the Big Green. As of noon, they are smack-dab in the middle of a 2 1/2- hour workout.

Great articles in today's Freep and M-Live stating the obvious: if MSU is to win, the Spartans need to control the line of scrimmage. In particular, the Spartan offensive line needs to create a sustained running game, with long drives to give its defense a rest and a chance.
  • MATCHUPS of MSU-TTU via the Double T Nation:
  • Special Teams: KR Eric Davis vs KR Keshawn Martin. "[Martin is] still averaging 30.35 yards per return. This is going to be an intriguing storyline as the Red Raiders rank 2nd in the Big 12 in return yardage allowed, only 19.34 per return. That's close to a ten yard difference from what MSU is averaging and what the Red Raiders are allowing."
  • Defense: SS Cody Dvis vs. QB Kirk Cousins. "When we look back at the results of this game, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to think that how these two lines play [TTU OL and MSU DL] will decide the game.
  • Offense: RB Baron Batch vs. LB Greg Jones. "I don't know if the Texas Tech coaching staff is in a bit of a quandary in that the Michigan St. pass defense is obviously vulnerable, but the Texas Tech offense has had much more success when they run the ball."
Here are Texas Tech's statistics:

Category National
Actual National
Actual Conf
Big 12
Conference Leader
Rushing Offense 115 81.08 Nevada 362.25 12 Oklahoma St. 191.75
Passing Offense 2 380.67 Houston 450.00 1 Texas Tech 380.67
Total Offense 7 461.75 Houston 581.23 2 Texas A&M 465.33
Scoring Offense 9 36.67 Boise St. 44.15 2 Texas 40.69
Rushing Defense 37 125.00 Texas 62.15 7 Texas 62.15
Pass Efficiency Defense 34 116.43 Alabama 88.81 5 Nebraska 90.54
Total Defense 46 348.75 TCU 233.25 6 Texas 251.08
Scoring Defense T-35 21.75 Alabama 11.00 4 Nebraska 11.23
Net Punting 73 34.98 Georgia 42.84 7 Oklahoma 40.86
Punt Returns T-49 9.79 LSU 18.64 7 Oklahoma 16.72
Kickoff Returns 17 24.48 TCU 30.62 3 Texas 27.38
Turnover Margin T-94 -.50 Rutgers 1.54 11 Texas .92
Pass Defense 73 223.75 Air Force 148.67 5 Oklahoma 184.92
Passing Efficiency 26 142.67 Cincinnati 166.19 2 Texas 143.70
Sacks 2 3.25 Pittsburgh 3.67 1 Texas Tech 3.25
Tackles For Loss 30 6.58 Middle Tenn. 8.83 4 Texas 8.08
Sacks Allowed 91 2.50 Boise St. .38 9 Oklahoma St. .83

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