Monday, September 01, 2008

Close But No Cigar Tale Getting Stale For MSU

Close, but no cigar victories should be of little solace to Michigan State.
Their opening game loss at California was similar to many of their losses last season.
They were prepared well enough to be in the game against a tough opponent on the road. They were not, however, prepared to win it.
And it isn’t just quarterback Brian Hoyer, who committed a key turnover at the end of the first half, and then threw four straight incomplete passes at the end. It was allowing a touchdown on a blocked punt, and getting out-gained by a more than two-to-one margin on the ground when you’re supposed an "I" formation, run-it-first team, aiming to win with a stout defense.
The best part for the Spartans: Mark Dell. The sophomore wide receiver from Farmington Harrison emerged as the playmaker the Spartans need to replace Devin Thomas.

Random Thoughts

- I can believe Rod Marinelli is keeping 11 defensive lineman while leaving his team so thin at other areas. It just doesn’t look good. It’s like Marinelli, a former defensive line coach, favors the position over all others. What about the rest of the team?

- Ned Yost is goofy. The Brewer manager’s tirade about being "denied "C.C. Sabathia’s no-hitter was over-the-top, phony rhetoric. I have never seen that particular play not called a hit. If it had been his hitter, not his pitcher, his take on the thing would have been completely different. I do, however, find the debate about the play interesting. Andy LaRoche might not have beaten it out.
I do know this: major league baseball needs to back its official scorers better. It’s a thankless job.


Blogger John said...


I think your prediction of Notre Dame winning no more than six games could look foolishly wrong. Looking at their schedule this year and the way many of their opponents played last Saturday, I really believe every game is winnable on their schedule except USC. While none of this will matter if they play anything like how they did last year, with their considerable young talent and a favorable schedule, a good coach should be able to win 8-9 games this year. We will see if Weis is a good coach.


11:44 AM 
Blogger D_Fenner said...

As much as I liked the play of all our rookie defensive lineman, I don't know how much sense it makes considering that only 8 of them will dress each week, and it'll probably be the veterans. Personally, I would like to see Alama-Francis get some playing time at defensive tackle on passing downs. He'll improve the inside pass rush and he has the size. Cody easily could have been cut. Seemed like he was playing just hard enough not to get cut and will revert back to his uninspired play before long. He was a mistake of a selection from the start. Hopefully Marinelli kept all these guys because he sees something he really likes in all of them. It would be irresponsable to keep them all simply because he is a defensive line specialist. A 5th Wide Receiver/Return Man would have been nice to have.


8:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to follow MSU this year for a change - I thought they played their hearts out Saturday - It was a fun game despite the loss. They came up short but it wasn't due to a lack of effort.

Maybe Marinelli believes he can find better pieces on the open market then he had to work with in camp?


7:34 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

We'll see how it works out in the end. There is always potential for Notre Dame. It's just it's been awhile since they have put it together with any degree of consistency.

8:45 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The Lions definitely aren't perfect. There are some flaws there. We'll see if they overcome adversity better this season. Francis will likely be inside in passing situations based on what they did during the preseason.

8:46 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The effort has been there for the Spartans under Dantonio. The next step is getting over the top in close games.

8:47 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...


I don't mind keeping 11 Defensive Lineman, since they seem to have more injuries at that position than any other position during the season. Also, since Cody and Moore aren't likely to be back next year, they will have 9 solid linemen back next year. Injuries on the Defensive line have killed the Lions the last two years at least, so I can understand why they would want to keep them all, especially when they all look like they can play. I am disappointed that Buster Davis, and Standeford got away though, because they looked like they were pretty good players too. None of the other players that were cut were anything special though. Even if we need more depth at RB, and some better return men.


9:44 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Staneford played really well in the preseason, but didn't have special teams value, that's why he has struggled to stick despite obvious receiving skills. We'll see how it works out on the numbers.

1:29 PM 

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