As my new job has limited the amount of time I have to commit to blogging, I liked the way my Michigan keys to victory post went last week, so I'm going to make it a weekly installment here, replacing my perviously verbose and far-reaching posts of my student days.
So, here are my three keys to victory over the hated Spartans tomorrow, where I will be basking in the glory of yet another Irish win tomorrow early evening (Sec. 120, Row 17 Seat 13).
Shut down the run.
More so than probably any game this season, if I had to pick just one key to victory, this is it.
Michigan State this year, unlike years past, is a one-trick pony.
There is no Plaxico Burress, Devin Thomas, or Charles Rogers in the wide receiving corps. Hoyer is no Drew Stanton. And even the mighty Ringer no longer has Jehuu Caulcrick to soften up the defense.
Shut down Ringer, and down go the Spartans.
Establish the running game.
Although we are more than capable of beating the Spartans with an underperforming running game, beating them at their own game will do several things for us. (1) It will open up passing lanes for Clausen, creating the opportunity for the big plays off of play-action. (2) It will wear down the Spartan defense. (3)It will keep Ringer off of the field. (4) It will take the hostile crowd out of the game by slowing everything down.
Win the field position battle.
Arguably our best unit on the team is our special teams coverage units, and going against a running team like the Spartans, field position becomes critical. I don't expect the Spartans to cough up the ball like their Ann Arbor cousin/wife did last week, but if Bruton and Anello can work their magic and limit returns, and we can execute good enough on offense to win the field position battle, we will win this game on the backs of the explosive potential of our offense.
So there you have it, my three keys to victory. When I sober up on Monday, I'll be back to show you all how amazingly prescient and wise I am.
Until then, I'll be incommunicado, as I have to go into East Lansing, imbibe heavily, and help kick Spartie's pasty white little ass.