Part one of an exchange between myself and LVS of SBNation's fine Michigan State blog, "The Only Colors". His questions, my answers. The other half of Malicious Internet Interrogation will likely be up later today or tomorrow. And don't forget this afternoon's basketball game against UNC-Wilmington. Tip-off is at 4:00 p.m., game to be broadcast on ESPNU (and
presumably, ESPN360 yeah, apparently not). We'll have an open thread.
1. MSU-PSU: great rivalry or greatest rivalry?
Greatest, of course! How else could you explain two teams fighting over a pre-school arts and crafts monstrosity like the Land Grant Trophy?
2. Penn State allowed almost 300 yards passing against Indiana last Saturday; that statistic alone gives MSU fans at least some hope, as our offense is essentially pass-or-bust this year. How has PSU's pass defense been this season? Are there any clear vulnerabilities in the secondary?
Keep in mind that Indiana threw the ball 51 times and was playing from behind in the second half last week, but yes, the larger point is that teams know it's better to throw on Penn State than attempt to run. I would not be remotely surprised if MSU attempts close to 50 passes on Saturday, although I doubt they'll reach the 61 passes thrown by Brian Hoyer against PSU back in 2006 -- and that was in a 17-13 game. Penn State can be thrown on, but they do their best to protect any obvious liabilities in the secondary. Free Safety Nick Sukay has steadily improved throughout the year. Drew Astorino (#28) plays the other safety position, and it's no secret that he's trying to fight through a shoulder injury. CB A.J. Wallace sustained a concussion last week, he's listed as "possible" for Sparty. So there may be opportunities for you in the passing game.
[For the rest of our Q&A, including discussion of SPECIAL TEAMS FAIL and much more, please head over to The Only Colors.]