MSU vs. Notre Dame Scouting Report and Prediction

Hondo S. Carpenter

MSU vs. Notre Dame Scouting Report and Prediction

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Of all the games on the schedule, I actually looked at this one early with a lot of excitement. I will confess in the interest of full disclosure that I am not a man filled with hate for the Irish. I also am deeply grateful for all the help they gave when the Spartan football program was in its infancy and the part they have played in the incredible history and tradition.

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I also am a man that liked Charlie Weis until he alleged a slap that never happened and help the Irish get back on track and get the win from the Spartans two years ago. I wasn’t mad at him for the win, but for alleging something that never happened. Anyways, here is my scouting report.

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The Irish have been less than stellar in the offensive department. In fact they have allowed three more rushing first downs and five more passing first downs. Sure UM is a quality opponent, but remember they also played San Diego State. They have not been stellar on offense and the score against UM was added by more turnovers from the Wolverines than I have extra pounds.

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The Irish are only averaging 109 yards a game on the ground while giving up 115. Clausen is only completing 56% of his passes and has given up four INT’s, but there were at least two others that were dropped.

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Here is an interesting stat; they have been out gained through the air by 119 yards in total this season. Remember that when we get to the predictions.

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The Irish has a suspect kicking game with only trying one all season and missing that. They also have only completed 25% of their third down conversion attempts.

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Through the air the Spartans will need to avoid CB Terrail Lambert who is their best corner. He was the one who had the interception in 2006 that he ran back for a TD. When the Spartans do go to the air, they want to go after Raeshon McNeil. Chris Stewart, their right guard, is also a liability for the Irish and watching tape of him has to have the Spartan DL salivating.

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How do the Irish win?

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First, they have to make the Spartans go to the air. MSU certainly isn’t afraid to go to the air, but they want to do it on their terms. Can the Irish force the Spartans there? If they can get Hoyer and the Spartans to get near or over 30 throws, then they will be right in this game.

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They have to get pressure on Hoyer without having to blitz. If they are able to do that it will be the first time all season. They only have one sack. If they can get the ball away with Clausen (forget his hair and ego) he is dangerous when he has time. If they can get him the time to throw then they can win this game. If he is rushed, he makes poor decisions and that will work against them.

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How the Spartans win?

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The Spartans have to run the ball and pass when they choose to. If Hoyer throws when Treadwell wants to and not when they HAVE to turn out the lights. The Irish have not stopped anyone all season and they certainly won’t this Saturday.

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They will run over and around the soft Irish who are all convinced how good they are because the recruiting websites and their coaches and fans have told them. The Irish have been beaten by lesser OL and the Spartans are emphasizing in practice that they have to punish the Irish. This Spartan line on O and D are looking forward to this test.

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Look for the Spartans to use Javon as a passing threat in space out of the backfield. Those are very low risk passes and will force the Irish to spread out of the box a little bit.

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Prediction

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Readers of Spartan Nation know that I am not afraid to pick against the Spartans and I am traditionally conservative with my predictions. That said, I have watched ND six times looking for a reason to see how they could win so that you people would know that I did my research. In all three phases of the game the Spartans are CLEARLY better.

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The Irish can’t stop the run and NO ONE they have faced are even close to as good as MSU. They don’t play good defense (unless recovering a UM turnover counts) and their pass defense is less than stellar. Their only hope is load the box and make Hoyer beat them with 30 plus throws. The Spartans will run on them at will and will pass when they want to. Look for the Irish to simply look confused as the Spartans beat them up and run over them. This one will be a laugher. Make it MSU 38 and 17 for the Irish.

Please remember to head to the official message board of the Spartan Nation: The Phalanx Forum to discuss this with other members of the Spartan Nation. Simply click on the Phalanx Forum ICON on the left of the page.

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