Spartan Defense is vicious, ferocious, unrelenting; MSU moves to #13, TD underdog to Wisky The Enlightened Spartan: Spartan Defense is vicious, ferocious, unrelenting; MSU moves to #13, TD underdog to Wisky

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spartan Defense is vicious, ferocious, unrelenting; MSU moves to #13, TD underdog to Wisky

The ES keeps thinking about the ferocious Spartan defense on Saturday, which put to rest for good the argument any notion of scUM's Denard Robinson as Heisman-trophy caliber.  Indeed, he looked downright ordinary on Saturday, with a bludgeoning and bruising Spartan front line that completely dominated the "vaunted" Wolverine offense. When Michigan's 4th-and-1 effort was smashed with yet another Spartan sack of Robinson, the AArogant Nation has to wonder if Robinson's shoelaces aren't more effective tied to the bench, even if tied at all.  Sweet beauty, sweet beauty.  It was as vicious of an effort by the Spartan defense witnessed by the ES in his lifetime.

As loud as the cheers are roaring in Spartan Stadium is the whining out of Ann Arbor, which has never been louder: "the Spartans play dirty", etc etc.  Whatever, what the whining shows is several things:
  1. inability for the Wolvies to use multiple gifts from MSU; the Spartans penalized 13 times for 124 yards, giving the Wolverines 6 of their 20 first downs by penalty... five personal fouls by MSU resulted in a FRESH SET OF DOWNS each time... and in EVERY CASE, Michigan punted.  Yes, Michigan got NOTHING from the 15 yards and first downs each of the five times through the entire game. 
  2. difficulty for the AArrogant Nation to accept the fact it has taken a back-seat to Michigan State in football.  This is four years of pounding in a row.
  3. unwillingness for the AArogant Nation to acknowledge the fact of being physically and mentally defeated.  They weren't as tough, and couldn't compete. They were pounded into submission, and the AArrogant Nation just can't accept that, either.
  4. sore losers.
As my parents always said, stop yer bitchin' and keep your nose to the grindstone. Or, more bluntly: "Let me tell you a thing about stupidity: It is better to be quiet than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

At least the players weren't complaining, and recognize the game of football involves physical brutality.  Even Robinson told the New York Times: “They were playing football. It’s a dirty game.” “They were definitely more physical,” said Michigan redshirt junior safety Jordan Kovacs. “They pounded us. They beat us up.”

The praise for Michigan State's ferocity is wide across the nation (NY Times called the win over scUM a "beating"; USA Today acknowledges MSU defense; even the Michigan Daily acknowledged MSU's pummeling.). In back-to-back games, against Ohio State and Michigan, the Spartans looked, well... MEAN and unrelenting.  Jeez, it looked like an Alabama-defense.  Right now, the Spartans rank No. 1 nationally in pass defense (119.1 yards per game) and pass-efficiency defense (84.3 rating), along with a No. 2 ranking in total defense (186.1 yards), No. 3 in run defense (67 yards) and No. 4 in scoring defense (10.8 points).

Now, the #13 Spartans get the supreme test:  hosting #4 Wisconsin.  The Badgers are a 7 1/2-pt favorite at Spartan Stadium.  Notably, it is not only MSU's Homecoming... but ESPN Game Day crew are coming to town, likely to set up shop at Munn Field - it is Corso and Herbstreit's fourth visit to Spartan Stadium, and first since 2005.  In other Big Ten tilts, Iowa favored by 23 over Indiana, Illinois favored by 6 at Purdue, Nebraska favored by 25 at Minnesota, and Joe Pa favored by 4 at Northwestern.

ES predicted MSU 27-18 (final 28-14)... not bad, eh?  And, the ES poll relating to how many yards would MSU limit Denard Robinson?  The answer was 167 total yards -- more than 50% below his average of 342 entering the game. 39% of the 181 who responded to the ES poll said Robinson would be held under 150 yards; 9% said between 151-200; 7% said between 201-250, 4% said between 251-300; and, 38% said he would gain more than 300.  The ES grins, "Ha ha ha."

RANKINGS: MSU #13, #15, #16
For Michigan State, they've climbed to #13 in the USA Today, #15 in the AP Poll, and #16 in the first BCS rankings released today.

USA Today Poll
1Oklahoma (31)6-01426
2LSU (15)7-01410
3Alabama (12)7-01403
4Wisconsin (1)6-01262
6Oklahoma State6-01173
7Boise State6-01172
12South Carolina6-1765
13Michigan State5-1690
14West Virginia5-1688
14Virginia Tech6-1688
16Kansas State6-0678
18Texas A&M4-2415
19Georgia Tech6-1396
22Penn State6-1253
25Arizona State5-286
  • Dropped from rankings: Texas 21, Baylor 24
  • Others receiving votes: Georgia 60, Notre Dame 36, Rutgers 31, Southern Methodist 27, Texas 26, Southern Miss 14, Cincinnati 14, Baylor 9, North Carolina 9, Virginia 3, Temple 3, TCU 1