On The UMAA Defense - And Vito Spatafore And Ralph Furley

On The UMAA Defense - And Vito Spatafore And Ralph Furley

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On The UMAA Defense - And Vito Spatafore And Ralph Furley

#24 Michigan State has a tall task this Saturday as it prepares to go up against the #2 defense in the nation at Spartan Stadium against #6 UMAA. The UMAA defense is the real deal. Can the Spartans find ways to move the ball and produce?

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We’ve heard quite a bit about how UMAA’s offensive line is powerful, beefy, fast, and well-coached.

That’s all very true.

We’ve also heard that Shea Patterson is the ingredient that’s been missing ever since Jim Harbaugh came back to Ann Arbor a handful of years ago.

That might be true.

Forcier, I mean Patterson, looks dangerous and pretty savvy when he slips away from pressure and extends plays, turning what might have been broken plays into big ones.

Patterson arrived in Ann Arbor under the dark of night, slipping into the UMAA program without much fanfare, organically integrating himself into the program without the UMAA machine overplaying its hand in its typically humble approach to bringing its lunch bucket to work every day and just keeping its collective head down.

Patterson is accustomed to rivalries since he played in The Egg Bowl.

With all due respect to Patterson and his family and everyone who has helped him along (and we mean that), comparing The Egg Bowl to this game makes me think of how I was called “smug” by all of the UMAAers who threw bricks through my windows after I asked their head coach a question about how he hasn’t had much success against UMAA’s rivals and non-rivals.

The UMAAers – over and over and over and over again – said (and still are saying) I was “smug.”

I said this once during all of that nonsense and I’ll say it again now –

A UMAAer calling anyone “smug” is a lot like Vito Spatafore making a fat joke about Ginny Sacrimoni.

And so, if Shea Patterson thinks The Egg Bowl has prepared him for what he’s about to experience this Saturday, let me try this clunky metaphor:

Comparing The Egg Bowl to this game is a little bit like saying that Mr. Furley is actually pretty comparable to Walter White.

But enough about Tate Forcier, I mean Shea Patterson.

What about UMAA’s defense?

It’s very good, to say the least.

This defense has studs all over the place who are playing sensational, aggressive, and punishing football right now.

It’s earned the #2 overall defensive ranking in the nation.

UMAA opponents are averaging 15 points a game (against UMAA’s 38).

UMAA is giving up 108 yards on the ground per game – the average carry goes for 3 yards against a Maize and Blue wall.

Through seven games, opponents have rushed for eight touchdowns.

UMAA’s pass defense is every bit as stingy as the rush defense.

Opponents have averaged 129 yards of offense through the air and have scored five touchdowns via the pass.

The total offensive output per game by UMAA opponents is 228 yards to go along with that 15-points-per-game average.

On 3rd down, UMAA has held opponents to 31 of 96, 32%.  Pretty good.

UMAA’s monsters have registered 11 sacks for 87 yards.

In the redzone, UMAA’s opponents have been 13 of 14 with 10 touchdowns.

If Michigan State can get into the redzone, there is reason to believe that success can be achieved (and that, as we know, can “lead to improvement lead to championships…”)

This past Saturday, UMAA opened up a can against Wisconsin – the defense was suffocating all night and the individual stars of the defense had very nice performances, even with the main stud, Rashan Gary, sitting out due to injury (his status remains unclear for this Saturday’s Egg Bowl).

Who are these guys?

We know most of them but here’s a quick peek at the ones who wreaked havoc on the Badgers –

Khaleke Hudson is a 6’0″, 220 pound junior linebacker who had 3 tackles, 2 solo, against Wisconsin.

Josh Metellus is an absolute beast of a young man.

He’s a 6’0″, 204 pound junior and he has the ability to change the course of a game with his speed, toughness, and athleticism.  Against Wisconsin, he was in on 5 tackles, 3 solo, and had an interception.

Tyree Kinnel is the 5’11”, 215 pound senior defensive back who was in on 5 tackles, 1 solo, against the Badgers.

Chase Winovich is the chap everyone knows because of his mane.

Winovich also happens to be a sensational football player and if he was a Spartan, he’d be fairly popular, I’d suspect.  Against the Badgers, Winovich was in on 4 tackles, 3 solo.

He’s always all over the field, wreaking havoc on everyone.

Devin Bush is, of course, the All Universe 5’11”, 223 pound junior who is dangerous, fast, tough, disciplined, and capable of carrying the defense on his shoulders.

Last Saturday night against Wisconsin, he was in on 4 tackles, 1 solo, and had a sack.

Bush also does not like Michigan State as he stated earlier this season –

https://spartanswire.com/2018/09/14/umaas-devin-bush-i-hate-michigan-state/

Rashan Gary did not play against Wisconsin and his status remains unclear for this Saturday’s war.

Gary is, of course, the 6’5″, 285 pound junior defensive lineman/monster/beast/destruction machine.

If Gary is on the field, he may murder someone accidentally this Saturday.

If he is not on the field, he may still manage to somehow impact the game in a way that helps UMAA because this guy is, indeed, that good.

UMAA has a whole slew of other monsters on this defense who make tackles, cover receivers, run around, do things and stuff.

Some of the other freaks that Michigan State is going to have to figure out how to attack, block, trick, flummox, and beat include:

Lawrence Marshall – a 6’4″, 285 pound 5th year senior nose tackle.  He’s a beast and he’d probably defeat me in an arm wresting match even if he had to use his left foot.

Michael Dwumfour is a 6’2″, 285 pound junior nose tackle who can and will create all sorts of problems for whoever has to go up against him now and in the years to come when he, along with just about all of these guys, will be playing in the NFL.

I would pay money to watch Dwumfour compete against Mike Panasiuk in a banana split eating contest.

Carlo Kemp is a 6’3″, 280 pound junior lineman who plays football as if his life depends on it.

Lavert Hill is a 5’11”, 181 pound junior corner back who picked off Badger quarterback Alex Hornibrook last Saturday night and took the pass back for touchdown.

That’s the type of thing Lavert Hill does.

There are others.

Much is being made of the way UMAA destroyed the Badgers this past Saturday night.

UMAA deserves most of the credit for the beatdown.

However, it’s worth noting that the Wisconsin football players and coaches never got out of their pajamas for the football game and, for some reason, most of the Badgers took naps on the field all throughout the night.

The sense of urgency that Wisconsin demonstrated on Saturday night was sort of like the sense of urgency that the Baltimore Orioles showed throughout this baseball season.

Chances are good that Michigan State will compete in this game while conscious/awake.

Here’s something that’s gotten lost due to the fact that Wisconsin’s offense couldn’t hear Hornibrook for most of the game because various offensive players were taking turns napping and their loud snoring muffled Hornibrook’s signal calling –

Badger running back Jonathan Taylor carried the ball 17 times for 101 yards.

UMAA gave up 183 yards on the ground against Wisconsin.

I’m not about to compare Michigan State’s offensive line to the Badgers’ offensive line – and the UMAAers who are excited about how the UMAA defense played against that Badger line and are frothing at the mouth when thinking about going up against Michigan State’s M*A*S*H unit of an offensive line are right to be frothy.

However…..

As we said in the immediate aftermath of the 21-17 win at Penn State, the Spartans played the same exact offensive linemen in the same exact positions for every snap of the win over Penn State.

And Cole Chewins was one of the fellas who was on the line all game.

Not coincidentally, Michigan State had its best rushing performance of the season.

Not coincidentally, Michigan State beat the #8 team who had/has a stout defense and the Spartans won the game on the road.

Michigan State doesn’t need to rush for 300 yards against UMAA this Saturday.

But, to Mark Dantonio’s point – if Michigan State can create enough of a rhythm, have enough cohesiveness, and the proper amount of toughness within and across the offensive line to be able to get close to 40 carries in this game, that increases Michigan State’s chances of winning this game by precisely 17 purgues (it’s a sophisticated statistical element that’s only known and utilized by people who really study the finer points of college football – and an increase of 17 purgues, when analyzing Michigan State’s chances of winning the game, is probably comparable to saying that the chances will increase by 46 monjubian crescents).

The UMAA defense that’s allowing only 108 yards rushing a game – can Michigan State somehow manage some yards over the course of four quarters?

UMAA’s pass defense – it’s only allowing 129 yards through the air.

Brian Lewerke will be without 38 of his top 39 receivers this week – but has UMAA ever gone up against anyone like Felton Davis?

Can Brian Lewerke find Laress Nelson (assuming he’s alive and available to play) on underneath crossing patterns like he did on the 76-yard game-winning drive against Penn State?

Can Matt Sokol and Matt Dotson become truly reliable and truly dangerous weapons as tight ends?

Will Brian Lewerke be let loose so that he can tuck it and run with it when the opportunities present themselves?

UMAA’s defense is fantastic – there isn’t any doubt about it.

But UMAA’s defense was fantastic last season when Michigan State went into Ann Arbor and was something like a 26.5 point underdog.

UMAA has always had players.

UMAA has always had lots of players.

Michigan State – even with the injuries – has players too.

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