MSU vs. Northwestern Scouting Report and Prediction

Hondo S. Carpenter

MSU vs. Northwestern Scouting Report and Prediction

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I use a lot of different scenarios and break down numerous sets of rankings along with video when I predict and scout a game. I don’t write multiple pages because frankly a lot of people don’t take the time to read it. I try to assimilate all the information and break it down into preferably a one or two page report. Here it is:

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Watching Northwestern video close this week you can see some interesting patterns. Their defense against the run is deceiving, and I don’t mean from a scheme standpoint. In the earlier games of the season, they had some success against the run, but it was against less than stellar running attacks. They have not played a running attack that is even close to MSU's.

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Against a very good running attack with Iowa, the Hawks had a great day. The Cats beat them and kept the score tight because the Hawkeyes had multiple turnovers and essentially beat themselves. I was not as optimistic about the game until after watching so much tape.

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Now this is the MSU vs. Northwestern rivalry and anything can happen, but I feel a lot better about what may happen.

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How do the Wildcats win this game?

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First, they have to stop the run. Every team we face will use the Indiana and Iowa defensive game plan. We know they will. How do we know? It was essentially successful, but IU didn’t have the players to sustain it and the Hawkeyes made turnovers and mistakes that hurt them badly.

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They will sell out to stop the run. The Cats have a better set of DB’s than Iowa and if they can stop the run they can beat MSU. Hoyer is a very good game management QB, but they have to force him to pass when the Wildcats want him to. If they stop the run, and make MSU pass on third and long they defensively have a successful scheme.

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On offense, the Cats will mix it up. The MSU D has had trouble with a good running attack and they have the QB that can throw whenever he wants. If the defensive scheme works and they are successful running the ball, the Cats will win this easily.

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How the Spartans win this game?

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RUN the ball. The Wildcats have yet to have success against a quality attack doing that. The scores of their games will fool you. They can’t stop the run. If the Spartans run the ball and win the turnover battle, they win.

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They need to mix some play action on first down and throw with Hoyer to test the Wildcat DB’s down the field but it MUST be on THEIR terms and with THEIR game plan. If the Spartan offense led by Coach Treadwell plays on their terms this is a Spartan W with the Buckeyes on the horizon.

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Prediction:

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I thought MSU in my pre-season predictions would be sitting here this morning at 5-1. I also thought they would leave Evanston today with a 6-1 record. I am always worried, but not nearly to the point I was last Saturday as soon as the Iowa game was over.

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The Spartans are going to run, run and run some more and use Hoyer (who has the best play action ball fake in the nation) and win today. It is still the MSU vs. Northwestern rivalry and it certainly has grown to that, but I am not worried. I am calling it closer than I would most games that break down like this because anything can happen in this rivalry.

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Make it MSU 27 and Northwestern 20.

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