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The 3-2-1 Preview: 3 things we want to see, 2 key stats, 1 best bet vs. Purdue

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You won’t like our pick, but it could make you some cash (if you’re into that)

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, five games to go. Well, hopefully six.

Michigan State can really help its case getting to a bowl game during this injury-riddled season with a win on Saturday against Purdue.

After watching Purdue dismantle Ohio State last weekend, that’s easier said than done. And after watching MSU’s offense pick up even more key injuries last week, that’s way easier said than done.

3 Things We Want To See

You Screaming “Cancer Sucks” On Kickoffs

If you’re going to the game, we are remixing our kickoff cry. Instead of “Go State” it’s going to be “Cancer Sucks” to let Purdue fan Tyler Trent and all those fighting illness that we are there to support them.

Let’s hear you loud and clear on Saturday.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-OHH! CANCER SUCKS!

Better Starting Field Position

Starting field position is always important. When your offense is as banged up as MSU’s is, then it’s really, really, really, really important. Maybe add one more really.

Last week, MSU had just two drives that started within 60 yards of the end zone. Once after the fumble recovery to put the Spartans on the doorstep of the end zone, and another on the 50 yard line that was immediately pushed back 15 yards due to a penalty.

For comparison, UM had five drives that started within 60 yards of the end zone – four in the first half alone.

Obviously a few factors played into MSU’s poor starting field position. One is UM’s solid defense, another is the passing game never having a chance of getting anywhere and, of course, UM’s punting game is strong too.

MSU’s hampered offense needs 3-and-outs and turnovers from the defense to set themselves up with as little field to work with as possible.

Just Play The Right Quarterback

I can’t believe I have to write this, but apparently it’s not that easy. I wrote about it in length of why MSU needs to start Rocky Lombardi a few days ago. Here’s the SparkNotes version: Lewerke couldn’t have had a worse game, coaches not allowing him to run takes away half his game and I’m assuming Lombardi will at least throw a catchable ball once in a while.

Dantonio said Lewerke will need to practice this week if he wants a shot at playing on Saturday, unlike last week. We’ll see what unfolds. But if they trot him out and he’s sailing balls in his first few drives again, for the love of all that is good, make a QB change.

NCAA Football: Boston College at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

2 Key Stats

728

That’s receiving yards for Purdue sensation Rondale Moore.

I remember a few weeks ago I was pumped to watch college football’s opening night game between Northwestern and Purdue. That joy slowly turned to gloom as I watched Moore play, realizing he’s the prototype that’s made to destroy MSU.

From the Bobby Williams Era to today, MSU has had trouble defending the screen pass. Moore’s game is catching the ball behind the line and scrimmage and turning the defense into clowns. Heck, he just did it to Ohio State’s defense to the tune of 170 yards.

Moore is an absolute electric factory, and keeping him contained might not even be possible.

33.6

That’s the third down percentage that Purdue’s defense owns, which is good for top 30 in the nation. You know who else has a top 30 third down defense? Michigan. And Penn State. And Northwestern.

Yep, for the fourth game in a row MSU will be facing a top 30 third down defense. Here’s some optimism though – there’s no way MSU’s offense can do any worse on third down than last week. Woohoo!

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

1 Best Bet

(MSU -1.5, O/U 50)

Here’s my inner monologue when I saw this line come out.

“How is Purdue underdogs? They just housed Ohio State and the Operation board game guy is now on MSU’s two-deep.”

“Well, hold on, usually Vegas knows something we don’t know. If a line doesn’t make sense, fade that line.”

“Well HOOOOOOLD ON NOW, Vegas really can’t know everything. Right? I think I know my Spartans better than someone in Nevada. Our receivers are depleted. Our starting quarterback can’t throw the ball and coaches won’t let him run an option because he’s that fragile. Our offensive line is just a sad case.”

“Then again, Purdue is coming off a very emotional victory. That could be tough to bounce back from.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right. They still have Rondale Moore too. I’m taking the points and the Boilermakers.”

Record: 6-2

Poll

What’s your best bet for Saturday?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Over 50
    (19 votes)
  • 17%
    Under 50
    (45 votes)
  • 11%
    MSU -1.5
    (29 votes)
  • 63%
    Purdue +1.5
    (161 votes)
254 votes total Vote Now