Michigan State Preview: Once More, With Meaning

 

Who Shot Who In The What Now?  Michigan State (9-2, 6-1) at Penn State (10-1, 6-1).  Kickoff at Beaver Stadium scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The all-time series is tied at 12-12-1. 

Kicking Television:  YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE AT Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge, and Holly Rowe on ABC/ESPN.

Weather:  Perhaps this is better in picture form.

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In all seriousness, drunkards:  It's a long day, so dress appropriately.

A Fool And His Money:  Penn State is a 15.5 point favorite.  Looks like Vegas is just begging you to bet on Sparty.  The over/under is 47.5.

You'll Get Yours, Delany!:  Jim Delany's evil plan has borne fruit.  The league mandated rivalry between Penn State and Sparty, which so many of us have resented for so long, finally means something in the grand scheme of Big Ten football. 

Dubious Statistical Achievements:  Let me understand this correctly.  Michigan State's offense revolves around Javon Ringer, yet they're ranked 9th out of 11 Big Ten teams in rushing offense?   And speaking of weird Big Ten specific stats, it appears that nearly every statistical category is led by Penn State or...Illinois.  Really:

Penn State: Rushing offense, scoring offense, rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense, scoring defense, kickoff returns, pass defense, sacks allowed.

Illinois: Passing offense, total offense, passing efficiency, sacks, tackles for loss.

Minnesota: Turnover margin (paging Dr. Saturday, Dr. Saturday report to Minneapolis!).

Ohio State: Punt returns.

Michigan: Net punting.  Of course.

Lest We Forget:  The best sports talk radio meltdown EVER.  Sparty, you never let us down.   (AGAAAAAAAAAAAAAIN.)

Pickin' On The Big Ten:  Come for the midwestern humor, stay for analysis of Cal Poly @ Wisconsin!

A Senior Moment:  This particular group of seniors has a chance to be remembered as perhaps the greatest class of the PSU Big Ten years, provided they can nail down another Big Ten championship tomorrow.  That would be two conference championships in four years -- not too shabby, considering where the program was when these guys first walked on campus.  Derrick Williams isn't going to get his national championship.  Perhaps that's appropriate, as his biggest contributions to the program extended way beyond the playing field.  He believed in Penn State, and made his present and future teammates believe in Penn State, as well.  There are just so many good stories in this senior class -- walk-ons who unexpectedly flourished, five-star athletes who became leaders, and any number of guys who perservered through various physical and emotional difficulties with the help of their friends, families, teammates, coaches, and fans.  Gerald Cadogen's humility and class, Mike Lucian's attitude as he was moved from position to position, Kevin Kelly's success in the face of constant sniping, Jordan Norwood's heart, A.Q. Shipley's ability to turn defensive linemen into a bloody pulp. 

It's a great group, one that we can be proud of for many reasons.  

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