Friday, October 24, 2008

WTI: Sparty Time

Craig: Good evening and welcome once again to Whatever This Is (Lite Edition). I'm Craig Barker, and I'm not even feeling this week like I should.
Geoff: It's that feeling that we're the entire Big Ten's punching bag, and that Little Brother will take out eight seasons of frustration on us.
Craig: Don't you mean six? Oh, right, never mind.
Craig: I just, it's maddening, we see flashes, glimmers of hope, and they are taken away by the harbinger of doom
Geoff: Things started out so well for us against Penn State, but the inevitable was always staring us in the face.
Craig: I steeled myself to not get too excited. And yet, that little bit of hope, it is a dangerous thing. I mean, I had pretty much decided Michigan was going to be destroyed. And then we weren't. So then I wondered how badly it was going to end
Geoff: When Threet came out, that was it. And even before then, giving up that late score in the first half made life a lot more difficult.
Craig: Now, I find myself more interested in the Penn State/Ohio State matchup this weekend than the Michigan State/Michigan tilt. I'm still looking forward to going and whatnot, but it just feels like Little Brother will pull it together and get the job done. And that makes me sad.
Geoff: We could have another moment of "Sparty, no!", but you can't count on that to bail you out forever.
Geoff: I have to say, Brandon Graham probably should have kept his mouth shut on the upcoming festivities.
Craig: You know what, though (and I mean this): I didn't mind what Brandon Graham said. It shows me that the team still believes. I took it as being more about Michigan and less about State. Dantonio said himself that it was kind of weak for BB material and I must agree.
Craig: I don't know, I guess I just like that there still seems to be some fight in this team. Brandon Minor looked good on Saturday. I hope he can keep that up, mix in some McGuffie, see what happens
Geoff: Dantonio seems a lot more circumspect this year. We don't hear about any countdown clocks or moments of silence. There was that whole thing about having the reporter repeat the names of the crappy teams we've lost to at home since 1990, but that's pretty weak too.
Geoff: Me too. Minor was running hard and holding onto the football. It was an impressive performance from him. Before, it feels like his big performances usually included a long run distorting his YPC, but this seemed a more consistent one.
Craig: Agree. The 4th and 1 conversion sold me. That was a literal hard yard.
Craig: I'm trying too hard not to read the tea leaves, but at some point after Toledo did Rich Rod say "Everyone is benched, you win back your starting jobs starting today!" and that's where we ended up with the line up we did?
Geoff: I wouldn't be opposed to that strategy. It goes along with the quote in the weight room about reverting to the level of your preparation. You play well in practice, you get time on the field.
Craig: So, how can we be nice to Nick Sheridan? His safety was not "as bad" as Dan Orlovsky's that week, no?
Geoff: No, it wasn't. He was actually tackled.
Craig: And he did nearly get the pass off. To an o-lineman, but still, good situational awareness.
Geoff: What do you think the offensive and defensive keys will be this weekend?
Craig: I think on offense, it will be good, time-consuming drives where Michigan can adapt to the game-planning of MSU's defense and change things up. Also, it almost goes without saying, a healthy Stephen Threet.
Geoff: I'm picking pass protection on offense. Like you said, healthy Threet is necessary, and he has to be able to make it through a full game.
Craig: On defense, it's building up what worked against Wisconsin, getting good contain on Ringer and making Brian Hoyer beat us, which, admittedly, with our safety play lately, is not exactly a challenge I am thrilled to be offering.
Geoff: It gives us a better chance to win than if Ringer piles up the yards. And Hoyer being irresponsible with the football could work to our advantage, if our DBs can manage to catch an interception right on the numbers, Charles Stewart.
Craig: I also think field position will be critical. And remember, we're looking at a rainy Saturday, so you know, even on the field turf, strange things can happen.
Geoff: I'm curious what this "Trains" show from the MMB will be about. And there's going to be some sort of combined performance with the SMB.
Craig: I am curious as well. I hope a little "Chattanooga Choo-Choo", a little "City of New Orleans" and ending with some "Meet Virginia"
Geoff: A little bit of "Oh Streetcar"?
Craig: Long before the Superdome, where the Saints of Football play...lived a city that the damned called home....hear their hellish rondolette!
Craig: Why can I remember this and not understand basic microeconomics remains a mystery to me to this day.
Craig: Well, that's all for this lite edition of WTI. Enjoy the game this weekend, be nice to the Sparties, because...see, I don't even have the joke this week. It's just very sad. Go Blue.
Geoff: Let's hope we can keep one streak alive this year, and I'm not talking about the OSU one. Go Blue.

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