Michigan State Preview 2006
Who goes 1-3 in the last four games against Northwestern? Who loses to teams like 2004 Rutgers, 2003 Louisiana Tech, and 2004 Hawaii?
flak·y also flak·ey (fl k )
adj. flak·i·er, flak·i·est
Made of or resembling flakes.
Forming or tending to form flakes or thin, crisp fragments:
Somewhat eccentric Slang. Michigan State football
Name another team with the offensive firepower and overall
athleticism to blow up a 9-0 Wisconsin team 49-14 in 2004, beat
Notre Dame in South Bend last year, hang punch for punch with
Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan, and also be able to get
annihilated at home by Northwestern, destroyed by Minnesota, and be
the one decent team a horrible Purdue team could beat.
What's so tantalizingly annoying about Michigan State is how it
finds ways to battle in the huge games, but it can't get up for
every game. It hasn't been able to for years. It hasn't mattered if
it's Nick Saban, Bobby Williams or John L. Smith coaching;
this program can't put it all together and keep its focus for an
Head coach: John L. Smith
4th year: 18-18
18th year overall: 128-78
Best MSU Players1. QB Drew Stanton, Sr.
2. DT Clifton Ryan, Sr.
3. RB Javon Ringer, Soph.
4. WR Matt Trannon, Sr.
5. WR Jerramy Scott, Sr.
6. OG Kyle Cook, Sr.
7. LB David Herron, Sr.
8. LB Sir Darean Adams, Jr.
9. P Brandon Fields, Sr.
10. CB Greg Cooper, Sr.
at Penn State
2005 Results: 5-6
2005 predicted wins
at No Dame
W 44-41 OT
L 34-31 OT
at Ohio State L 35-24
at Purdue L 28-21
at Minnesota L 41-18
Since 2000, MSU is 17-6 in
September, and 4-16 during the crunch-time games in November. What's the
hang up? How can this million dollar team have such a ten-cent head? One
word: Michigan. You could analyze to death the Jan Brady
syndrome Michigan State faces trying to outdo the big brother over in
Ann Arbor. Look at the track record and it appears there really might
be an obsession with the Wolverines that kills MSU year after
Last season, MSU was 4-0, lost to Michigan, and went 1-5 the rest of the
way. In 2004 the Spartans were 4-3, lost to Michigan, and went 1-3 to
close out. Since 2000, the Spartans have gone 8-18 after the Michigan
game and have gone 2-5 over the last seven years in the game after the
With 12 returning starters, a legitimate All-America quarterback
candidate in Drew Stanton leading one of the nation's top offenses, a
potentially better, more active defense, and special teams that can't be
worse than last season's group, there's the chance to finally put
together an even year and come up with the second winning season in the
last five years.
There might be problems coming up with that tough win following the
Michigan game with Ohio State coming to East Lansing, but there's no
excuse to fall off the map over the second half of the year thanks to
The Schedule: There
are four brutal games against Notre Dame, at Michigan, Ohio State, and
at Penn State, but the other eight aren't just winnable, they're must
The Spartans will come out strong, but they can't sulk if they lose the
back-to-back early Big Ten games at Michigan and against Ohio State. At
Northwestern might be a bear trap after playing the two conference
heavyweights, but they can handle a few early losses and still make a
run with a favorable late schedule before gong on the road to face Penn
State. Missing Iowa and Wisconsin is a huge break.
Offensive Player: Senior QB
Drew Stanton. If he played for a top ten team he'd be mentioned in the Heisman race. He's 6-3, 230 pounds with 33 games of experience, 4,717
career passing yards, 1,067 rushing yards, and has been among the
nation's most efficient passers. If he cuts down on his interceptions
and avoids the injury problems that plagued him in 2003 and 2004, he
could be the type of player who could carry his team to a shocking
Defensive Player: Senior DT Clifton Ryan. The 304-pound defensive
end will move to tackle to not add more bulk on the inside, but to
also create some semblance of an interior pass rush. He'll move back
to the strongside on occasion to beef up the run defense.
player to a successful season: Senior CB Greg Cooper. The former
safety brings experience, size, and speed to the corner in the hopes
of being a desperately needed number one, lockdown defender. The
Spartans have to come up with more big plays against the pass, pick
off more passes, and be better on third downs. Cooper will be
responsible for the improvement.
season will be a success if ... the Spartans win nine games and
goes to a bowl. This is hardly a great team, but there's no excuse
to not win at least eight with a win over a power like Ohio State or
Notre Dame thrown in there. Being a rock at home against Purdue and
Minnesota is a must.
Oct. 7 at Michigan. With Ohio State coming up followed up by road trips against Northwestern and Indiana, a loss
to the Wolverines could be the start of a rough stretch if the team
isn't able to keep its focus. A win would shoot the confidence
sky-high and should mean a 2-0 Big Ten start with a chance the week
after to make a major statement for the Big Ten title against the
- Field goals: Opponents 5 of 9 - Michigan State 5 of 16
- Third down conversions: Michigan State 69 of 146 (47%) - Opponents
67 of 150 (45%)
- First half scoring: Michigan State 219 - Opponents 157
The Last Time
…played in a bowl game…2003 (Alamo Bowl v. Nebraska)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…1999 (Northwestern)
…was shutout…2000 (Michigan)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Illinois)
…won a conference title…1990 (share, Big Ten)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2005 (Drew Stanton)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2001 (T.J. Duckett)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2002 (Charles Rogers)
…had a first-round draft choice…2003 (WR Charles Rogers)
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