MSU vs. FAU Scouting Report and Predictions

Hondo S. Carpenter

MSU vs. FAU Scouting Report and Predictions

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All I need to know about this game happened last year a couple of days after the Champs Bowl. I was talking to one of Coach Dantonio’s assistants and he referenced this game. ANYONE expecting an MSU blow out certainly hasn’t taken a look at FAU.

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Sure they are cocky. Sure, they have run their mouth, but at this level if you need bulletin board material to play football you don’t belong at MSU. This team is very fast and at the skill positions, they have horses.

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How Do the Owls Win?

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For the Owls to win they have to accomplish three things:

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#1 They have to get MSU down early and force them to the air. MSU is a good football team and they are good through the air. When it is on their terms. When the Spartans control the temp with the run, they mix play action and deep balls well and they are effective. The first key to the win is if FAU goes up early and forces the Spartans to the air.

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#2 They must win the turnover battle. They have to not hurt themselves. If you watch their previous games this season (and I have) they hurt themselves. At Texas, the game was a lot closer than the score and I took ridicule for saying that prior to Coach Dantonio referencing it in his weekly press conference.

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#3 They have to stop the run. They have a very good set of corners and very good linebackers. If the Spartans do not keep third downs manageable, this game could get dicey. The Owls are in no way intimidated to stack the box and let their corners go man on man. For them to win, they have to stop the Spartan rushing attack and make the Spartans go to the air.

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What the Spartans have to do to win?

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#1 Pass when they want to and not when forced to do so. Brian Hoyer is a good game manager. He is not a Dan Marino type QB that can pass his team to a win. He has a good arm and I am not saying they can’t pass. It simply has to be when set up with a run. When the Owls put nine in the box and go to man coverage on BJ and Dell, he has to make good accurate throws. In single coverage or even some zone blitz type coverages, he has to make the right reads.

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#2 Run the ball. If the Spartans control the line, then this is game, set, match. Texas tried to go to the air and did, same with UAB. The Spartans have to go to it only after the run works. FAU will hit the field running and run all day. Keep the playmakers off the field by running the ball and letting Hoyer throw on his terms.

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#3 Good tackling at the point of attack. The Spartans were terrible at this at Cal and they can’t afford to let a faster team get to the second and third tacklers. The Spartans shouldn’t get many chances to sack Smith. So they have to get pressure from the front four (like the Giants in the Super Bowl against Belicheat) and allow multiple DB’s do their job. Watch this Spartan fans; If MSU has a poor day tackling they can lose this game.

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#4 *The rule of five. The Spartans have to have at least five points (sacks plus positive turnover ratio) and Saturday will be another Spartan victory.

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Prediction:

The Spartans, if they control tempo early, could blow this game out. I will give FAU the benefit of the doubt and say that they Spartans win, but the Owls give a test. Make it 31-21 MSU.

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*If the Spartans collect three turnovers from the Owls and have only one of their own, that would be a +2. If they had three sacks, then adding those to the +2 turnovers, makes the Spartans successful at reaching the rule of five.

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