Saturday, September 24, 2022


Worse coaching, even worse prepared, and exceptionally poor execution compared to last week on the road at Washington.  Basically shut out with starters at home, whitewashed by Minnesoter?  Just 17 minutes with the ball?  There is NO EXCUSE to be shut out at home.  Tuck Leavin' for sure - he should be ashamed of himself.  Thorne played absolutely terrible today, on top of it all.  

The Woodshed was for Tuck, not PJ 

ES Preview: Spartans vs Minnesoter

Michigan State Spartans (2-1) vs Minnesota Golden Gophers (3-0)

September 24, 2022. 3:30 pm. ET.  

Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI


Weather: 62, cloudy

Sagarain Ratings: Minny #21, MSU #30

Line outta Vegas: Minny by 3

Minnesoter by the Dandy Warhols

The big question is:  will Tucker learn from the abysmal performance at Washington, get his head out of his butt and teach the corners how to play defense?  Will he again have CBs on 15 yard cushions and give Minnesoter everything they want in the passing game?  Will there be a pass rush, or any aggression at all from the defense? The defense needs to make some stops, instead of giving up chunks of yardage ad nauseum.  

Can the offensive line block? The offense needs to show up early in this game, and not spot Minny a 22-point lead, like last week.  Need some balance on offense and make some holes for Berger and Broussard.  Wow, writing this, sounds like the ES is asking for MSU to change its entire approach and execution... YES, I AM.   

Minnesoter is a good test at 3-0, and a win by either will put them in the top 25.  

This game feels like a toss up.  It all comes down to mental preparedness and execution.  And, that goes for coach Tuck as well as the players.  There's been some rain this morning, so expect a wet track... but it should be clear for the fans.  The ES is gonna be a homer...

Freep:  Minny 37-30; MSU 26-23; MSU 27-24; Minny 31-27; MSU 26-24
The Daily Gopher: eight pick Minny, two pick MSU
LSJ: MSU 30-27  MSU 27-24

ES sez:  No more horse shit 31, Minnesoter 27.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

U-Dubb Whipping? Tuck Leavin’

Michigan St. went the wrong way on Saturday

Well, at least the trip was great.  Not sure if we want Washington to join the Big Ten if we can’t compete with them; maybe we’d rather have Akron join the B1G.  

What an embarrassment.  What the ES doesn’t understand is 1) the lack of preparedness for Penix; 2) the lack of any effective adjustments at the half; 3) why the DBs played soft and unaggressive for the entire game, giving Penix the opportunity to slice, dice, and shred an already vulnerable defense; 4) QB Thorne showing up for only the last half of the last quarter.  

  1. Coach Tuck noted at the beginning of his comments as he boarded a plane home, (paraphrasing) “obviously they were aware of a vulnerability in our defense and exploited it,” then why didn’t he have a better game plan to provide help to an obviously poorly executed DB gang?  We all knew the capability of Penix, who shredded MSU the two times he faced us while at Indiana.  Why give him what he wanted, which was soft coverage?   The lack of an effective pass rush, and few blitzes in the game, allowed Penix to basically do what he wanted.  On the other side of the ball, the offensive line played very poorly, and on no occasion did we see any misdirections in the run game or jet sweeps. All up the middle, all game long.  When it became obviously ineffective… why continue to run it for 2-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust when throwing the ball was the only way to crawl back into the game?
  2. Coach Tuck also noted “we made adjustments” which is absolute horse shit.  If so, they were the least impactful and most ineffective halftime defensive adjustments since the French bailed on the Maginot line from the Nazis.  I have no idea what he and the staff were thinking. It was painful to witness firsthand the continued lame play by the DBs.
  3. The DBs need lots of work and help. Not once - not once - did I see a Spartan corner turn his head to any Penix ball was thrown.  Instead, the DBs were chasing Husky receivers from behind all over the place.  Giving a 10-12 yard cushion every single play all game long served no purpose, other than playing into Penix’s hands.  Maybe coach Tuck acknowledges we didn’t have the talent, especially with injuries?  Then, ROLL OVER THE SAFETIES FOR SOME HELP.  Instead, too many times DBs were on islands or in a soft zone coverage that Penix exploited.  Coach Tuck didn't put his players in a position to win.  Just inexcusable.  
  4. Thorne can’t just show up late in the 4th quarter.  He has got to stop telegraphing his passes, and take a page from Penix and look off the defense. No wonder the Husky DBs played such tight coverage!  And, he needs to make plays earlier.  He missed wide open receivers, and the pick from his own end zone was just a terrible, hurried throw.  Throw it out of bounds, buddy, not directly to the defenders!!!!  He was not sharp, once again.  For everyone who says “he gritted it out and was a gamer,” I say GREAT - show up EARLIER in the game than the 4th quarter.  Stop making so many mistakes!  

Said coach Tuck: “ If we can get it cleaned up with better technique and better fundamentals, we’ll do that. If it’s a scheme issue, then we’ll have to fix that. If it’s a personnel issue, we’ll make those changes.”  Ahem - all of the above, coach, all of the above. 

If anyone says "jet lag" is an issue, then I'll throw back atchya one of Coach Tuck's comments to his players: "if you're 30 seconds late (to a meeting), then get up 10 minutes earlier."  Here's an idea - fly in more than one day before kickoff.  

It was frustrating to get your ass kicked on national television.  He’s a better coach than that crap we saw on Saturday. He needs to do some introspection as much as teach the DBs how to play football with some aggressiveness. It was embarrassing to look unprepared, to be outplayed and outcoached.  At least the Spartan Nation showed up. Too bad the team didn’t.  Tuck Comin’?  Hell no, Tuck Leavin’. 

Pics from the trip below:

Lovely Seattle from I-5

Don't order the Fish & Chips!  At best a 6 of 10.  Shoulda got the pizza

Rip-roaring Husky Stadium.  It was loud. 

There's Coach Tuck, lost in space.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Friday, September 16, 2022

ES Preview: Spartans at U-Dubb

#9/#11 Michigan State University at University of Washington
September 16, 2022. 4:30 pm. PT.
Husky Stadium, Seattle.


Weather:  63 and cloudy

Sagarin Ratings:  UW #21, Michigan State #24

Line outta Vegas:  UW by 3-1/2

The ES is in town for the MSU-UW tilt, and visited his friend (a professor at UW) yesterday.  Walking the streets, going up to the rooftop at the Graduate hotel, lots of GO GREEN GO WHITE!  My friend said “what if I just say GO WHITE”?  I said “it would fall on deaf ears, you gotta say GO GREEN and the other says GO WHITE!”  She was impressed by the enthusiasm of us Spartoonies. Right on!

View from the Graduate Hotel, UW District

UW has Michael Penix, the former Indiana QB that torched us for a few years before transferring.  UW is averaging a whopping 571 yards per game on offense.  That will test the Spartan secondary.  Expect Penix to put up some points. Wait, who have the Huskies played?  Nobody, just like Michigan State.  There’s plenty of API talent on the UW roster with names I can’t pronounce.  

But, MSU has its pair of RBs: Wisconsin transfer Jalen Berger, runs hard and fast and leans forward; Colorado transfer David Broussard dances through tough traffic to find yards. The pair make a good duo, averaging 5.7 ypc and 228 ypg, good for 24tth in the country.  Payton Thorne has underperformed, throwing off his back foot and overthrowing receivers; he needs to be solid.  Thorne is a fourth-quarter QB, and improves as the games go along.  He's a gamer.  Let’s hope Jaylen Reed returns for MSU after the injury vs. WMU. Expect points on this end.

This game will come up to turnovers and possibly the kicking game.  The ES was telling his dad our punter, the bespectacled Bryce Ballinger, can flip a field and drop a punt inside the 10; he’s ranked #21 in net punting at 43 ypg.  That might bode well for the Spartans in this game and help the defense by giving UW a long field.  Washington’s net punting, with Jack McCallister, is ranked #79 at 39 ypg.  MSU’s kicker, Jack Stone, is fresh outta high school, an 18-year-old, and is 1-2 on the season.  Untested, indeed.  UW has an advantage here, with senior Peyton Henry 2-2 on the season.  Last year, he was 11-14, but only with a long of 38 yards (0-3 beyond 40 yards).  

I'm guessing 20,000 Spartans will fill the 73,000-seat Husky Stadium.  Watch a back-and-forth game, momentum back and forth, with the game hinging on a turnover and field position.  That gives MSU an advantage.  Despite the 0-13 history regular season out west dating back to a win over Cal in 1957, expect the Big Green TD Machine to notch a win.


College FB HQ/Fan Nation:  UW 31, MSU 25

CFN: UW 27, MSU 23

MLive: MSU 30, UW 27

LSJ:  MSU 31, UW 24

The Only Colors: MSU 24, UW 27

Sporting News: MSU 28, UW 23

ES Sez:  James Caan 31, Bruce Lee 27. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Time to get a win out west: MSU 0-8 regular season vs Pac-10 since 1970

UW calls themselves the "Dawgs"

The last (only) time the Spartans visited Seattle to play the University of Washington was in 1970.
  It was a different era; Duffy Daugherty was the Spartan coach, nearing the end of his Hall of Fame era.  Jim Owens was the coach at UW, nearing the end of his 17-year career.  UW won this game, 42-16, to begin a 6-4 season in 1970.  The Spartans won the previous year, 1969, 27-11 in East Lansing in an unforgettable season for both schools (MSU 4-6, Washington 1-9).  The ES was one year old the last (only) time the Big Green beat UW. The last time the two played was at the Aloha Bowl in 1997, where #21 U-Dubb beat the #25 Spartans, 51-23. 

A warning about the West Coast during the regular season

In the last 50 years, the regular season on the West Coast (Pac-10, not Pac-12) has been unkind to the Spartans on the gridiron.

In 2018, the Spartans lost to Arizona State in Tempe, 16-13, in a terribly coached game by Dantonio. They also lost to ASU in 1986, 20-17 in Tempe under coach Perles.  In 2014, Oregon defeated MSU 46-27 as both teams were ranked in the top 10.

The ES attended MSU’s thumping by Cal in Dantonio’s first game of his second season, 2008, losing 38-31 in Berkley.  Cal’s Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen (future NFL RBs), ran all over MSU for 268 yards on the ground.  Nick Sabin got whacked at Oregon, 48-14, in 1998; the ES walked out of Autzen Stadium at half-time and had to take his shirt off as to not be laughed at.  So did Muddy Waters, getting his butt kicked 35-17 in 1980 at Oregon; the ES was just getting exposed to MSU and was living in California as a 12-year old, making the trip to Eugene. The ES is 0-3 watching MSU out west.

Way back in 1974, Dick Vermeil led UCLA to a 56-14 win in LA over Denny Stoltz and MSU. 

That’s 0-8 vs Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington since 1970. Time for a W over UW!

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Whitewashing Akron 52-0: the record books

Had to look in the record books after sitting in Spartan Stadium for the 52-0 MSU Spartans' crushing of the Akron Zips.  The last two shutouts by MSU were against Rutgers.  27-0 on the road in 2019, and 49-0 at home in 2016.  Biggest shutout victory since 54-0 against Indiana in 1957. 

Oh... and I wonder who the MVP for the Spartan defense (yes, we have a defense) is this year: Senior linebacker Jacoby Windmon, had five tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles-for-loss, along with three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery to lead the defensive unit.  Jesus.

There ya go!  See you in Seattle!  Go GREEN.

Friday, September 09, 2022

ES Preview: MSU vs the Rubber Men

#14 Michigan State Spartans (1-0) hosts Akron Zips (1-0)
Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
September 10, 2022.  4 pm.

Weather:  82, partly cloudy

Sagarin Ratings: MSU #38, Akron #173
Line outta Vegas:  MSU by five touchdowns (MSU -35)

It will be interesting to see the fandom in Spartan Stadium on Saturday, as the Big Green takes on a ho-hum opponent in the Zips from the University of Akron.  Coach Tuck was able to pack the house last week with the matchup against Western Michigan, but that was also an in-state stint.  Can he sell 70,000 tickets to see a very very bad Akron team?  Anyone have an extra ticket? I'm guessing the scalpers will be hard-pressed to get over $25 for the game. 

Akron needed overtime to defeat a not-good FCS St. Francis (PA) team last week at home.  Sagarin ranks St. Francis #221 in Division I.  Akron also was ranked pre-season by Athlon to be last in the MAC East.  However, they've got a good coach, Joe Moorhead, who previously was at Mississippi State (head coach), Oregon, and Penn State. Outside of that, just watch their QB, DJ Irons, who is a huge 6'6" but a light 215 pounds.   

Oh, it's NEON UNIFORM day tomorrow.  Good, let's get it out of the way. 


Freep: Monarrez, MSU 76-6; Sabin, MSU 48-10; Seidel & Solari, MSU 45-10
LSJ:  MSU 50-10
USA Today: MSU 41-14

ES sez.... MSU 52, Akron 10.


Friday, September 02, 2022

ES Preview: Kalamazoo Broncos

#15 Michigan State Spartans (0-0) vs Western Michigan Broncos (0-0)

September 2, 2022. 7 pm

East Lansing, MI.  Spartan Stadium.


Weather: 81 and cloudy

Line Outta Vegas:  MSU favored by three touchdowns (-21)

Sagarin Ratings: MSU #42, WMU #73

It’s Game Day!  Time to kickoff the season along the banks of the Red Cedar.  You want details from a Kalamazoo or MAC perspective?  Tune into this good preview from The Hustle Belt (MAC Blog)...  But seriously, until they play, what do we know about these teams?  Read the ES Season Preview, or listen to Sgt. Schultz: 


CFN:  MSU 34-20
Spartan Nation:  Matt, MSU 41-17; Aedan, MSU 34-13
Freep: Carlos, MSU 36-21; Rainer, MSU 42-17; Jeff, MSU 45-20; Chris, MSU 42-17
Athlon Sports:  MSU 34-10

LSJ (Couch):  MSU 34-13

ES sez:  MSU 32, WMU 21