The Eagles are a 45-point underdog to the Michigan State Spartans this weekend. Yikes-a-roonie. I guess if there's a positive about previewing this game, it's that there are some pretty nice fellas that write for The Only Colors, SB Nation's Michigan State Spartans blog. Give them a follow on Twitter, as well as Joe Tuohey, who writes for them.
Hustle Belt: In 2012, a Ron English-led EMU came to Michigan State and gave your team a scare. Ya'll came away with the win at the end, but what went wrong then and do you see those same early red flags with the 2014 squad?
The Only Colors: The issue in that 2012 game for MSU was that the offense was a complete a total disaster. You could liken it to watching the Eagles' attempt at breaking down that wall with a sledgehammer; it was way too slow, never seemed to finish, and required large amounts of alcohol after viewing. In fact, that game against EMU was the turning point in knowing the offense was going to be a disaster.
HB: In a perfect world, I don't have to worry about my team having quarterback problems. Tell me about the perfect world you're living in.
TOC: Thankfully for my liver, that's not an issue any more. QB Connor Cook led the team to an offensive transformation last year, and WR Tony Lippett is averaging 150 yards per game receiving thus far in 2014. In fact, the offense may have overtaken the defense as the better side of the football.
HB: The Eagles' strong suit is the running game. MSU's defense is only giving up a little over 100 yards per game on the ground. Will you do me a favor and take this $20 bill, stop sliding it back to me just take it, and tell this defense to ease up? Please? 2013 was great, but it's in the past.
TOC: Well, that'd be the first $20 I've made blogging! Anyways, with the right scheme there are times when the MSU defense gives up some running room to spread-n-shred type offenses, like in games against Nebraska and Ohio State in 2013. However, those teams had the ability to compete with MSU at the point of attack and I'm not so sure the Eagles have the ability to do that.
HB: Since you asked me about our defense, let me ask about yours by filling in the blank. For MSU's defense to fall apart, Pat Narduzzi needs to call into work sick and ____________.
TOC: Infect most of the team with whatever got him sick in the first place. Maybe a little Eagle Bird Flu? Since the unit is a little inexperienced this year as compared to 2013, knocking out a few starters might be problematic. Still, it'd have to be Parks and Recreation-level hallucination flu for it to make a huge difference.
Click here to read my answers over at TOC.