Michigan State Needs To Prove Themselves On The Road Against Huskies
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▬ Griffin & Bass – Hosted by Ryan Griffin and Matt Bassin – We discuss the latest hot topics of the week and have some fun while doing it. New episodes are LIVE Tuesdays and Fridays at noon.
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Ryan: big ten teams when they go out to the west coast, and they play a PAC 12 school. It usually doesn't go well. Um, you know, they, they played at night. Michigan State played Arizona state a few years ago. Didn't go well back when they played Cal in the early 2000 tens, maybe late, late two thousand, uh, didn't go well either.
They, lost that game too. So it. I like, I, I can understand why Washington would potentially be favored. I still think Michigan state should be favored. I think they're a better team than Washington is, but I, I don't think it's a slam dunk win either. Yeah, thishttp://gty.im/1423246686
Matt: is, uh, this one's tough. This is not the Washington team that came into Ann Arbor last year and got absolutely embarrassed.
This team is better than that in the quarterback and head coach combo alone. The quarterback, Michigan State Spartans, and big ten fans, in general, should know. Well, Michael Penix Jr., Indiana quarterback, was there for all four years, and got injured every single year. Uh, didn't play against Michigan state last year.
That was the backup Jack Tuttle. Uh, but he played against Michigan State in 2020. He played against Michigan State in 2019. Uh, in both those years, he did pretty damn well against the Spartan defense, uh, won, won and lost one, but he put up numbers, and the Huskies this year are averaging 570 yards of offense and 48 points a game again, competition.
Same as Michigan. Same as Michigan state through the first two games. They played Kent state and FCS Portland state, but Michael Penix Jr knows the Michigan state. It hasn't changed that much since he torched him pretty well. Two years ago. And the Michigan State defense knows Michael Penix Jr. So there's, there's some known here which can be a problem.
And also a good thing, depending on which way you look at it, he's a mobile quarterback, but he's also a pass-first kind of guy. He's got a good arm. And if he's given time, we are in a lot of trouble. So. there's a lot that we know about this team going in because of the quarterback alone and facing that situation before, against this guy, obviously on a different team, but it seems like he's got the Huskies rolling so far this year and Michigan, State's gonna have to bring it this Saturday in Seattle to come out with a win and an upset win at that obviously is they are the underdogs in this one, despite being the number 11 team in the country.
Again, you know, poles don't matter that much at week three or week four of the season, cuz you know, no one's really played, anybody. That's a couple of games here or there that might have been real, but for the most part, a lot of these teams have been playing the warmups to get 'em to the ready for the regular season.
Michigan State in this one is a; it's a big hill to climb, Ryan.
Ryan: Yeah, they certainly, they certainly can't come in in half as it. I would disagree with the defense he saw for two years. Is different than the Michigan state defense. Now, you know, that was Mel Tucker's first year, um, coming in, obviously with COVID and none of his own players there before Michigan state really hit the transfer portal hard.
So I, I don't think the defense is the same as the one that Penix saw in 2020 when it was a 24, nothing, Indiana win. Uh, that said, you know, the defense is still can, can still be pretty shaky. You, of course, don't have Darius Snow. Doesn't sound like you're gonna have Xavier Henderson for this game. And to me, it's gonna come down to can Michigan state, uh, pressure pets when he's in the pocket and make him, um, you know, make him a little bit more skittish, uh, and not want to throw the ball so much because he is, you know, he's a guy.
uh, you know, he doesn't run a lot, right? In his last game against Portland State. He didn't run at all. And then, in the first game of Kent state, he has four rushes attributed to him. But as we know, SS count as rushes against the quarterback. So it could have been like, you know, three design runs in one sack or something.
Now he does have 27 yards, which makes me think they're probably more designed. Um, if, if, as long as run, that game was 10 yards. So it's not a guy who moves a lot in the pocket. He, he can run around, but it's not like you're facing Malik Cunningham or even JJ McCarthy, uh, or somebody like that who is just gonna be more of a threat to take off when the the pocket breaks down around him.
So for me, it's gonna be about, can they do really what the lions couldn't do against Jalen Hurts and keep him in that pocket and just not let him? You know, and if they do that, I think Michigan State will be alright. I think Penix will have, um, a little bit of a harder time. I think Michigan State has the front seven to be able to do that.
And then with Washington, you know, they, they did lose a lot on defense. I don't necessarily think they're a good football team. So I was still at Michigan State favored in this game, but there might be a reason why Washington is favored; you know, they're bad last year. I, I think they're. Uh, bad this year, and they lost a lot of their guys on defense.
Um, and it's just gonna be for defense. It's gonna be, you know, can you keep Michael Penix in the pocket and get pressure on him? And then for the offense, it's gonna be, can you take advantage of this? What I still think is a shaky Washington defense, um, through the air and, you know, through the, uh, run game.http://gty.im/1243121454
Cause I don't think you can be one-dimensional, uh, and come out of this game with a win.
Matt: I think you. I think you hit it right on the head as far as what this game is gonna come down to. And that's what I circled as well. When I was looking at this game is that this game is gonna come down to Michigan state's defensive line versus Washington's offensive line.
And if the defense can get pressure on Penix, Michigan state can easily win this game, and they can win this game by double digits. If they can get pressure. This is a team that leads the nation in SACS right now at. Washington's only given up two again; who have you played, but for what it's worth, Washington's given up two S this year, and that's it.
Michigan State is already amassed. 12 of them. Washington has not phased anyone like Jacoby Windmon, who's got five and a half already by himself; stopping the run has been a, you know, they've looked okay-ish so far, this. Again, haven't played, a rushing attack, like what Michigan state's gonna bring this weekend.
Uh, and Washington themselves has gained about five yards per carry and has scored seven touchdowns on the grounds. And they have a, a group about five running backs that they can choose from, uh, depending on who's hot that day. So I agree. That's gonna come down to what Michigan state's defensive line can do against the Washington offensive line.
And if they don't get that pressure and they give Penix. Michigan state's in a lot of trouble and will lose this game by, an easy amount if they allow Penix to pick apart our secondary. So that line has got to get home. The running game has got to be on point, obviously, for Michigan state. And Payton Thorne needs to get back to what he was doing last year because what he's doing so far this year is not gonna cut it.
58% of his passes, three interceptions against four touchdowns against two Mac opponents. That's not gonna cut it. I look, Washington doesn't have a phenomenal defense, but you can't have that as your quarterback going forward. I understand how much we rely on the rushing attack. We're about 230 yards per game on the ground, but if the passing game is not.
I think Michigan's hate some real trouble this weekend.
Ryan: Yeah, probably. You know, as I said, you can't be one-dimensional with, uh, in this game and expect to win. Of course, the environment is going to be, um, you know, uh, unwelcoming, hostile, whatever you wanna say, because it's a night game and you are, uh, the number 11 team in the country going into. A Washington who is two and oh, and if they win this game, they are certainly going to be ranked, and that's gonna cause their fans to really come out.
I think, um, Just be, you know, be excited, be hyped up right now. If you look at the schedule, Michigan State is the highest-ranked team that Washington's going to play all year. Now that could change, obviously with whatever happens this little Oregon on the schedule, um, way down the line, but you know, right now, if you looked at it, Michigan state would be on paper, the best team that Washington has on their schedule.
So I don't even think that there's a possibility that Washington is like looking ahead to Stanford next week when they start their conference play. I think they're all geared up for this game. And I think Michigan state should be too. And if they're not, they are probably going to get, you know, sent home on the bus, very unhappy because they came out with, uh, a loss, and there's certainly spots to attack the Washington defense.
You know, Ken state in week one put up 340 yards on. Uh, on Washington, and they had 19 first downs. So I think if Michigan state is able just to control, control the game, control the temple a little bit and work that offense into spots where, you know, then you can be comfortable throwing or running the ball, you know, get in the red zone, a bunch finish, finish with touchdowns, not field goals, Michigan.
Should be all right. And I obviously all the other cliches, right? Take care of the ball, keep the chains moving, uh, all of that stuff. That's, that's typical to winning football games, but, uh, I really think that's what Michigan state needs to do. There's an opportunity to do it with Washington. I don't know that there's gonna be a whole lot of resistance from the Washington defense.
And if the Michigan state offense does feel resistance from the Washington defense, then I think it could be a long night. I, uh, I kind of don't expect that to happen. I do think Michigan state will walk out with like a seven to 10-point victory, nothing that's crazy sexy, but it'll get the job done.