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The 3-2-1 preview: 3 things we want to see, 2 key stats and 1 gambling pick vs. Indiana

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Come for the rant on punting. Stay for the best bet of the week.

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

Oh yeah, baby. SPITTOON WEEK.

FEEL THAT SALIVA RUNNING THROUGH YOUR VEINS! (please see a doctor if you actually do)

Alright, MSU didn’t lose last weekend so we are feeling good. Positive vibes.

3 Things We Want To See

(OK, these don’t count because I don’t want to be a broken record player but – good offensive line play, red zone scoring and the run game showing up. Those three are now givens. Now here are three other ones, if you will.)

Getting off the field on third down

You know what’s not great? MSU’s third down defense, giving up conversions at a 44.8 percent rate. That’s good for 17th…from last place out of the 129 Division 1 FBS teams. YIKES.

Do you know what is kind of great? Yeah, sorry – Indiana’s third down conversion rate. The Hoosiers are moving the chains at a 48.8 percent rate – good for 22nd best in the game.

Now listen, this is only the third game of the season. These aren’t season-sustained numbers. HOWEVA, Indiana’s no-huddle spread offense brings me flashbacks to Utah State’s offense getting MSU’s defense uncomfortable and converting third downs at a 7/13 clip.

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

A pass rush

For the love of all that is good, can we have an opposing quarterback leave the game with a grass stain on his jersey? Or at least leave knowing what our front sevens’ faces look like?

Against Arizona State, quarterback Manny Wilkins had all day to throw. Not only did Wilkins live in comfort all night, that time he had allowed for a handful of deep routes to unfold (that luckily didn’t connect, ever). Yeah, MSU lost anyway, so whether he connected on those is a moot point. Point is, MSU won’t get away with those situations much longer.

What else more can I say? You don’t get to the quarterback, you don’t win the game.

Good things with all things punting

Alright let’s break this up into three parts.

1) I hope the Rocky Lombardi experiment goes well. Apparently he punted 11 times in high school with a long of 58 yards.

2) I hope Lombardi can get these off with comfort, really. MSU let Arizona State get too close to Jake Hartbarger a few times in Tempe, even letting the Sun Devils tip a punt at one point. Indiana is also coming off a blocked punt against Ball State.

3) If you ever meet me in person, you will hear me talk about this until either a) I’m blue in the face or b) you just walk away. But here it goes…

Whenever MSU is returning a punt, no one gets remotely close to the punter. When the returner gets the punt, he has nowhere to run. MSU hasn’t returned a punt for more than seven yards since Biggie Munn was on the sidelines. Don’t look that up, just trust me.

So this begs the question – what are the ten other players doing during the punt? On one end there’s no threat for a block. On the other there’s no threat for a return. I’m flabbergasted. FLABBERGASTED I TELL YOU!

Alright, rant over.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2 Key Stats

73.7 percent

Oh boy, will this be a tough test with Peyton Ramsey at the helm. Ramsey is completing passes at a clip of 73.7 percent – good for best in the Big Ten and seventh-best in the nation. The whole nation!

Now, that’s impressive, but this next stat is also telling – he averages 159.7 yards per game. Not exactly airing the ball out. Get ready for a lot of dink-and-dunk, quick decision passes from Ramsey.

9

That’s the number of penalties MSU has committed…per game. Per game!

Whether they’re the kind that push a team back from the one yard line or ones that continue game-winning drives for the wrong team…let’s try to eliminate those!

Indiana isn’t great either, sitting at an average 6.33 penalties per game.

Utah State v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

1 Gambling Pick

I know this is the fourth best bet of the year, but hoooooo boy this is the toughest one yet.

I don’t love the over/under at 48. The spread is tricky. But…SCREW IT, THOSE BOYS IN GREEN COMING OFF A BYE WEEK GOT ME FEELING SOME TYPE OF WAY. BACK UP THE BRINKS TRUCK AND PUT IT ON MY SPARTANS, BABAYYYY.

GIVE ME MSU -4.5.

Record: 2-1 (Geaux Tigers)

Poll

What’s your best bet for this weekend vs. Indiana?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    MSU -4.5
    (92 votes)
  • 25%
    Indiana +4.5
    (58 votes)
  • 13%
    Over 48
    (32 votes)
  • 20%
    Under 48
    (47 votes)
229 votes total Vote Now