MSU vs. FAU Scouting Report and Prediction

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A look at this week’s opponent…

The Owls are well coached by a living legend in Howard Schnellenberger. They are disciplined, they know their opponent, and they never quit. They are a great game for the Spartans to have on the schedule. I would love to see this series continue.

When MSU has the ball…

The Spartans are going to attack the Owls on the ground. The Spartans lost the time of possession against WMU and I would be shocked if that holds true this week. The Spartans can keep the ball out of the Owls hands by running it. The humorous side of the time of possession stat is that if the Spartans score quickly they won’t win it.

One name that Spartan fans need to think about from the FAU defense is in their backfield. Tavious Polo had seven interceptions as a true freshman, and he is back and better than ever. He has great ball skill and could play on Sunday.

When MSU is on defense…

The Spartans will get a full dose of full frontal aerial attack. FAU also has a TB that you need to remember. It is Xavier Stinson. He is about 5’8”, but he carries 240# and is a thumper. If the Spartans start to get lulled into a pass happy attack, he can hurt them. He is a faster Jehuu Caulcrick type player and very good.

Lester Jean is the WR that is big with great hands and will be the main target of the Owl aerial attack. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked to see MSU double-team him all day. He is the only wide out that has had success and is the go-to-guy. If you stop him, you stop the Owl attack in its track.

Intangibles…

Last week MSU was the beneficiary of several missed or bad calls by the officials. I hate it when people blame refs, but just as their blown calls benefited MSU last week they could hurt at anytime also.

Another is that MSU needs to put them away. MSU can’t afford to keep them around. FAU can’t beat MSU, but MSU can beat themselves. Last week Cousins threw a lateral that should have been a turnover in his OWN redzone. The ref blew the call, but mistakes like that can keep a team around. FAU has beaten BCS teams and if they get confidence, they can do it again.

MSU needs to play their game, dictate the flow of the game, and they will win and win big.

Prediction…

MSU will come in and stay very vanilla and generic. Ideally, Andrew Maxwell will play the entire fourth quarter. I expect MSU to run all over FAU and then open the aerial attack. MSU wants to get a lot of people reps ahead of next week with Notre Dame and at the same time keep the plan simple. Make it MSU 41-FAU 17.