Spare me all the poor pitiful pearl MSU football crap! MSU vs. ND scouting report.

Hondo S. Carpenter

Spare me all the poor pitiful pearl MSU football crap!

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I am a lifelong member of the Spartan Nation. I used to retrieve punts from the upper deck when punted in practice back when Muddy was the head coach. I have experienced the heartaches that this program has given us, but the attitude being projected by many of the faithful this week makes me want to puke.

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I actually heard people say this week that MSU has everything to lose this weekend in South Bend while Notre Dame can’t get any worse. Please! Mark Dantonio is in year one of rebuilding this program. He isn’t going to get fired for a loss, and although a small group will rip him with anonymous keyboard courage on message boards, he and this team come in 3-0 and all stress is on a demoralized Notre Dame team that is self-imploding.

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The team according to a friend of mine directly connected to the program is going through a “crisis” with the loss of Jones to Northern Illinois who was if not the most popular player was one of the most. There are rumblings of a Charlie Weis meltdown in the Michigan locker room that one person standing near it told me, “I have never heard anything like that in my life.” The Irish are the ones trying to avoid being beat by one team in their stadium six times in a row as well as starting the season 0-4 for the first time in the program’s illustrious history.Â

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Notre Dame is the one being vilified for firing the Spartan Nation’s Ty Willingham by the national media and giving a 10-year several million-dollar deal to a man that can’t win with his own players. They have a coach who essentially declared himself a genius with his coaching skills, yet has one of the worst offenses in all of football. Notre Dame is the program that people are looking at the potential of going 0-8. Notre Dame is the program trying to distance themselves from stupid and embarrassing comments from a coach (I got punched and we won’t lose to MSU again on my watch) that once plagued MSU.

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Notre Dame comes in with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Who actually gives a rip if the Spartans closed practice on Tuesday? I can’t believe how many of you emailed me wanting to know what I thought of that. We still got plenty of quotes and sound bites from the captains and Mark Dantonio just kept the team on focus. At the end of the day, Mark Dantonio has done more for media access than anyone in the Spartan football program since George Perles, and if he wins it doesn’t matter if he ever talks to us. I have known Mark for many years, but his job is to win games and not appease the media. Frankly, any coach that gives a rip what we think probably isn’t a great coach.

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The way I see it, the Spartans and the Irish have flip flopped roles. They are the ones trying to stop the bleeding. They are the ones that will hear the boos and feel the vile venom of a dissed fan base.

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If I hear one more person rip the Spartans for planting a flag at the Notre Dame 50 I am going to scream. First of all, it was at their 35, and second of all no one else mentions that Notre Dame planted it at Spartan Stadium the first time. I MSU hadn’t done it but you are dealing with young people that saw it done to them and when ND didn’t bring the rivalry trophy (not actually a trophy) they reciprocated. If you don’t want flags planted here is a hint: win.

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Truth be told, if MSU loses it will be disappointing, but not by any stretch the end of the season. If ND loses, they are in an all out free for all. They are the ones that will have to answer the why did you fire Ty but not Weis talk. They will have to face an unhappy NBC and a fan base that is unaccustomed to, nor able to deal with, defeat. If they win, they will get ripped for the previous three losses. If they lose, it just steam rolls.

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In East Lansing are a group of kids that are loose and ready. In South Bend are a group of kids that are asking themselves what is going on. I am not worried. MSU has a leader at the helm that has won a national championship and that understands rivalry, and is embracing it.

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One school has to be looking at the future, win or lose, and ask themselves, “What have we done?” The other school, looks at the future win or lose, and says, “We got the right guy to take us forward.”

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Don’t overlook or think that ND doesn’t have talent. I also think that the days of the Spartan Nation carrying an inferiority complex bigger than Charlie Weis’s ego need to stop.

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MSU will take care of business and MSU will win on Saturday. Just look at whom we have as a coach and compare them. Regardless of the score, we have already won with Mark Dantonio and this staff and team.

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By the way, make it MSU 24-10. How’s that promise working out for you Weis? I bet the Irish faithful fell like they are the ones that got slapped. By you!Â

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 So here is my scouting report:

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OFFENSE

The Spartans will attack the Notre Dame’s anemic DL and run the ball. Now ND knows that the Spartans want to run the ball so they may take a lesson from BGSU and Pitt and simply load the box with eight or more men. That is O.K. because MSU will not have to go to the air they can load it all they want MSU will be able to run. The Spartans will use the pass at their discretion. If MSU can avoid turnovers, there is not a great concern with scoring on this defense.

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DEFENSE

The ND OL is pitiful. Their pad level is way to high and their technique is horrendous. I have watched all of their games this season at least twice and I can’t believe that it would appear they have done nothing to fix the same mistakes each week. The much-improved MSU DL should have a field day. I look for ND to use a lot of play action and screens to compensate for a bad offensive line. I have said the last two weeks about five being MSU’s magic sack number. If ND tries to go down the field MSU will destroy them. That is why I don’t really see that number being relevant because ND certainly won’t try to play with them there, would they?  If they do this will get ugly.

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Final Analysis

The Spartan Nation knows what it looks like when a team spirals out of control. We know the symptoms so well that they are as clear as day here. One thing that has to be addressed is that even though the coaching has been terrible, there is a lot of talent on that team and they are dangerous. Last year a Spartan team went into Happy Valley and thanks to a Dan Enos pre-game speech, the Spartans almost beat them. The Spartans season was dead and the coach had been canned but emotion and talent are dangerous.

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I still say 24-10 MSU. 

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