'18 Schedule - Final Four Regular Season Games

'18 Schedule - Final Four Regular Season Games

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'18 Schedule - Final Four Regular Season Games

November slate sets up as a legacy run for the 2018 Spartans.

Contact @crowleysullivan

Since Mark Dantonio took over as head coach prior to the 2007 season, he’s piled up enough achievements and accomplishments to be in a position to one day be seen as one of the best college football coaches in the history of the Big Ten and beyond.

There are many who continue to think this guy’s name is Mike D’Antoni.

Or Mike D’Abo.

Or Mark D’Onofrio.

The people that continue to think this guy’s name is any of those names are stupid.

Spartans don’t call him by the wrong name and that’s really all that matters.

Mark Dantonio’s place among the all time list of Spartan head coaches appears to be indisputable.

There is plenty of work still to be done – but unless a piano falls on his head and he’s rendered incapable of coaching for another five or seven years, Dantonio will go down as the greatest coach in the annals of Michigan State’s proud football history.

One of the areas where he’s managed to totally and completely take what was once a ten-cent head on the top of a football program and turn it into a nearly indestructible steel-jawed mug is in the way he’s turned Michigan State into a winning machine in the month of November.

Consider a statistic that speaks for itself:

In eleven seasons, Dantonio’s Spartans have compiled a November record of 28-11.

That record, of course, includes the 2016 disastrous season when the Spartans limped to the end of that wreck of a year with a 1-3 mark in November.

In 2012, the year prior to the 2013 breakthrough that culminated with the Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl victory, the Spartans recorded a 1-2 November mark.

Every other season over Dantonio’s tenure has included a terrific November showing.

Dantonio’s teams get stronger as the season progresses.

Michigan State has shown that it increases the focus, finds ways to win tough ball games, and sets its sights on championships in November.

According to the first two parts of our game-by-game breakdown of the way the 2018 season will play out for these Spartans, Michigan State will head into November with an unblemished record and a Top 5 national ranking after steamrolling through the first eight games.

For a look at each of the previous two pieces breaking down the schedule, take a look at these links (I’m an Internet knucklehead and all I care about is clicks so please click these links):

https://spartanswire.com/2018/05/21/18-schedule-first-four-games/

https://spartanswire.com/2018/05/24/18-scheduled-second-four-games/

It should be noted that if players sustain injuries that change the dynamic of the playing groups and the overall roster, SpartansWire’s entire three-part series breaking down the season will need to be ripped up and burned by fiery flames.

If Brian Lewekre is diagnosed, for instance, with gout due to a diet that includes too many meals with fatty dairy components, the Spartans will have a tough time sweeping the first eight games.

If Joe Bachie’s doctor tells him that his sluggishness is due to the revelation that Bachie suffers from Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Profressiva (FOP) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibrodysplasia_ossificans_progressiva – then an 8-0 mark would be tough to accomplish.

However, if injuries and afflictions to the most essential Spartans can be kept at bay enough to keep the key contributors capable of being on the field when necessary, 8-0 will, indeed, be the mark as Michigan State begins its stretch run for pay dirt.

Let’s dig in and break down the biggest November for the Michigan State Spartans ever since the Monjubian Revolution…..

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd – at MARYLAND

DJ Durkin is a lot of people’s favorite “next big thing” type of coach.

Good for a lot of people.

Maryland had 37 different players line up in the quarterback position last season after the Terps exploded with their big win over Texas in September.

If someone – anyone, including Dj Dunkin Donuts – can name a person who will play quarterback for the Terps and play quarterback for the Terps successfully, I will give that person this thing that rests on a shelf in my office –

Maryland’s defensive line is, for all intents and purposes, starting from scratch this season.

And that comes after Maryland finished the 2017 season with the #93 rushing defense in the nation.

If Maryland can stop Michigan State on the ground in Game 9 of the 2018 season, I’ll give this thing to any Maryland fan that wants this thing –

Michigan State – 34

Maryland – 16

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10th – vs OHIO STATE

Keep this in mind: in the week leading up to last season’s Michigan State vs Ohio State game in Columbus, I predicted a Spartan victory.

I actually predicted that Michigan State would defeat Ohio State somewhat comfortably.

The game in Columbus last season was not a “comfortable” one for Michigan State.

The Buckeyes’ dismantling of Michigan State (reminder – final score of the contest was 76-2) was a perfect storm of domination for Ohio State combined with a perfect storm of sleep walking for the Spartans.

As is the case every season, Ohio State was as loaded as any NFL team was in 2017.

And while Ohio State will certainly still be Ohio State in 2018, the Buckeyes might be closer to being a Jim Tressel-esque Ohio State team than the one that bludgeoned the Spartans 96-1 last season.

Dwayne Hawkins appears to be the man with the best shot at leading the Buckeyes at quarterback – but those two other dudes, Joe Burrow and Tate Martell – will have a say in the matter.

J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber treated last season’s game against Michigan State like a scrimmage against Westerville South Sandusky Akron High School.

It goes without saying that Ohio State’s offensive line – no matter which robots are plugged into the specific positions – will be powerful, fast, mean, and full of really creative and impressive tattoo art all over their arms and necks and legs (and backs).

But here’s the thing:

Michigan State is winning this football game, people.

Brian Lewerke, Joe Bachie, Josiah Scott, Luke Campbell, Kenny Willekes, LJ Scott, Felton Davis, Matt Coughlin, David Dowell, Andrew Dowell, Mike and Jacob Panasiuk, Raequan Williams, Cole Chewins, David Beedle, Connor Heyward, Cody White, and all of the other dudes that I’m not listing here simply because I’ve already listed a lot of badasses are all going to be thinking about this football game in ways that the Buckeyes really don’t think about football games.

And these guys that I’ve listed – they’re badass football players who are fast, strong, mean while playing on the field, extremely nice when they volunteer at the local nursing homes on Sunday evenings, extremely good at tackling, extremely good at scoring points, and really great at being great football players.

Other people who will be thinking about this football game in unique and obsessive ways include Mark Dantonio, Mike Tressel, Dave Warner, Mike Schneeberger (currently lives in Singapore but will be coming back to East Lansing for this game), George Stroker (lives and works in Chicago as a mortgage broker type of businessman and has spoken very few words since last season’s 67-4 loss to Ohio State), Pete Manfroy (he’s a doctor somewhere and I haven’t seen or talked with Manfroy in a lot of years and it’s possible that he really isn’t all that focused on this game but he will be when the time comes), and the 75,000 whackos that will cram into Spartan Stadium on this November afternoon.

I’m not saying this game is going to be easy.

It’s not going to be easy.

But this football game will be won by Michigan State and we’ll break it down in a far more specific manner in order to make the people who want to say that this prediction is flimsy and too macro and based on too much flim flam since those people are serious people and they expect surgeon-like predictions from Internet knuckleheads since precision and data and serious strategic matchup breakdowns are the only ways to properly predict football games that will be played between teams.

But, for right now, know this: Michigan State is winning this football game.

Know this, too: nobody will care about the pages and pages and pages of minutiae that the experts will publish and nobody will care about the supposed ways in which Raequan Williams’s stance (particularly the exact way in which his fingers are positioned in the grass three seconds before the ball is snapped) impacts his ability to get a great first move on 3rd down and medium-to-go situations midway through the third quarter.

These Ohio State fans will not be happy –

These Spartans will be very happy –

Ohio State – 20

Michigan State – 24

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17th – at NEBRASKA

I believe that Scott Frost is what Nebraska has needed.

I believe that Scott Frost will win and win big at Nebraska.

Scott Frost knows what he’s doing and his introductory press conference right after Nebraska announced his hiring was a grand slam home run.

But, on November 17th of this year, Scott Frost isn’t going to be able to work a miracle.

Nebraska does not have a quarterback after Tanner Lee (who left for the NFL – and probably wouldn’t have even started had he stayed) bolted.

Frost will find someone to lead the offense – and he’d be smart to just go right with on-campus recruit Adrian Martinez.

But, Nebraska does not have a quarterback.

Another thing Nebraska doesn’t have – a pass rush.

The Huskers recorded a total of 14 sacks last season and five of them came against Illinois which is comparable to a man being able to say that he’s more handsome than F. Murray Abraham.

Michigan State will be firing on all cylinders and the victory over Ohio State won’t create any hangover – it will have the opposite effect.

Nebraska will be treated the way the Huskers used to treat opponents on a regular basis way back when Scott Frost was leading the offense at quarterback.

This will be a Pound Green Pound afternoon and the Spartans will only have Senior Day against Rutgers in East Lansing as a final challenge to complete a perfect regular season.

Michigan State – 30

Nebraska – 7

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24th – vs RUTGERS

To anyone that wants to talk about how this game is a “dangerous” game or how it’s a “trap” or how it’s the type of game that can “trip up” the Spartans, please consider this:

Those are really stupid things to think and talk about.

To anyone that thinks that Michigan State will do anything other than bludgeon the Rutgers Scarlet Knights with everything on the line, I will happily give those people all of these condiments that that are currently in my refrigerator –

Rutgers – 10

Michigan State – 40

That’s right.

Michigan State finishes the 2018 regular season with a record of 12-0.

Michigan State bulldozes its way into the Big Ten Championship against Wisconsin in what will be a matchup of two Top 5 teams with the winner earning a trip to the College Football Playoff.

Soon, we’ll breakdown how we see that Big Ten Championship game playing out.

For now, however, buckle up and get ready for a season full of excitement and power and domination.

I’d encourage Spartans to resist the temptation to be overwhelmed and, instead, act like we’ve been here before – but that’s not necessary since Michigan State has, in fact, been here before.

His name isn’t Mike D’Antoni.

His name isn’t Mark DeeAntoni.

His name isn’t Mike Dantonio.

His name isn’t Jack Donaghy.

The guy’s name is Mark Dantonio and he has his sights set on the whole shebang.

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