ES said that Le'Veon Bell would have a tough time running, and sure enough had only 121 yards... and it took him 37 carries, good for a visibly-tough 3.3 yards per run. And, the ES also predicted a big day out of Maxwell, who had 290 yards through the air. Further, the ES figured on the Big Green stuffing the Hoosier running game -- for just 35 total yards on the ground.
What the ES didn't figure was the Michigan State passing defense, which fell asleep early, giving up three scoring drives totaling 215 yards in the first quarter. And, four personal fouls including a roughing the punter call. Just a very very dumb and out-of-sync MSU team. BUT, Indiana can learn a thing here: 'tis better to be good in the 4th quarter than in the 1st quarter.
What does this spell? Trouble, right here in River City, that's trouble with a capital T. In every game, this Michigan State team sleep walks through the first 25-30 minutes. They better wake up and get focused or otherwise will piss the season away. The pass defense played like arse in the first half, but played well in the 4th quarter. The potential loss via injury of Dion Sims at TE is huge - but it was nice to see Aaron Burbridge come of age with a huge game, 8 catches for 134 yards. He likely has stolen the starting spot from Tony Lippett.
Right now, the ES would say an 8-4 or 7-5 season is more likely... with difficult stints coming up vs Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, and Northwestern. The way MSU has been playing, we'd be lucky to win a pair of those. But, first things first... a crappy Iowa team comes to town. Time to wake up.
MSU is favored by 10 over the Ugly Chickens -- The ES hain't confident the Spartans can score 10 against anyone. Purdue is favored by 1 hosting Wisconsin. Northwestern is favored by 3-1/2 at Minnesota. Michigan is favored by a whopping 21 at home over Illinois. Ohio State is favored by 17-1/2 at Indiana.
The Spartans did themselves no favors in the polls with their lackluster performance at Bloomington. They remain on the outside looking in. The AP poll is below; what IS interesting is that in the USA Today coaches poll, not a single Big Ten team is ranked... first time EVER.
|AP Top 25|
- Dropped from rankings: TCU 15, Nebraska 21, Washington 23, Northwestern 24, UCLA 25
- Others receiving votes: Ohio 79, Baylor 62, Iowa State 54, TCU 50, Michigan State 49, Arizona State 39, Washington 39, North Carolina State 17, Nebraska 5, Arizona 4, Duke 3, Tennessee 3, Texas Tech 2, Tulsa 2, Penn State 1, Northwestern 1