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Across The Web: Michigan State

Written September 30th, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

As we get ready for conference play, we wanted to do something “special” for our weekly chat with an “enemy” blogger.  Given that we were playing co-champion Michigan State, and given the multiple connections that Spartan and Buckeye football have (coaches, players from the same high schools, hatred for all things scUM), it was even more imperative that we brought someone in that represented the Green and White with excellence.  And, if they continued to refer to themselves in third person, all the better.  So, we’re grateful to have The Enlightened Spartan swing by for nachos and chit-chat this week… be sure to check out Eric’s response to his inquisition, in the first (and most likely last) MSU PhD B1G Blog-off.

Kirk Cousins has obviously been a bright star for the team, and represented MSU particularly well at the B1G media days. Do you feel he’s reached the top of his game, or are there areas that he is still developing in?

Cousins has not reached the top of his game… but can he?  Yes, it is possible, he could be the best QB in the B1G, if not the country.  He has the talent, smarts, and confidence to be a la Tom Brady.  But, he seems to have difficulty consistently responding to difficult challenges.  He is showing how he can let the buzz get to his head.  While Cousins may have come from nowhere to be the Spartan starter, but he seems to be OVERconfident – Cousins throws off his back foot far too often, he still does, and he knows better.  With OSU pressure in his face, Cousins may likely give up an INT or two as much as he hits a streaking Cunningham or Nichol.  It’s a crap shoot with Cousins, but it shouldn’t be in senior year five.  Frustratingly fantastically just-short-of-championship potential – kind of like David Bowie or George Lopez. Read More

tBBC Radio Hour: 2011 Michigan State Pregame

Written September 30th, 2011 by Eric

Eric and Jim get together to discuss the upcoming game between Ohio State and Michigan State, and reminisce about the Colorado game. They talk about the development of quarterback Braxton Miller, and the superb play of Jordan Hall in all phases of the game. They also mention the ever important Nate Ebner missile and what he means to the kick coverage. Finally, they spend plenty of time talking about Michigan State and their excellent quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

Joining Eric this week for the opponent’s interview is Joe Rexrode of the Lansing State Journal, the local newspaper for the state capital of Michigan. They talk plenty of MSU football, including the issues for the MSU offensive line.

All this and more on this week’s radio hour!



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What do you Want to see on Saturday? Michigan State Edition

Written September 30th, 2011 by Eric

Big Ten season is finally upon us with the Spartans of Michigan State visiting Columbus this Saturday. What do the guys want to see this weekend? Don’t forget to tell us what you want to see in the comments!

Malibuckeye

Jake Stoneburner has been missing the last couple of games.

Return Of The Burn. Jake Stoneburner has been quieted down since the Akron game, mostly due to defensive attention but also due in part to some of the instability at Quarterback. While Braxton has proven he’s got the ability to go deep, let’s not forget the “new” weapon that wears number eleven.

Hungry Hankins. A Michigan native, Jonathan has been playing lights out as of late (when he hasn’t been dinged up). With the injuries on the Spartan offensive line, and motivation that comes with playing one of the home teams, it’s time for a phenomenal game.

Defensive Score. I really can’t believe that Ohio State has gone this long without one. If it’s a blocked punt or a pick six, it’s time for the Silver Bullets to get on the scoreboard

Special Teams Savvy. Mark Dantonio is not afraid to try a little trickeration in the kicking game- “Little Giants” beat Notre Dame last year, and a PI during a fake punt led to a come from behind win against Northwestern. While the Special Teams battle will be a Tressel Family chess match, it will take more than just brilliance on the sidelines to get a “plus” in this category. Can we just clone Ebner ten times?

Need I Say More?. No False Starts. Pretty please??? We’re in conference now… focus should be easier to maintain.

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Big Ten Preview: Getting Ready for a B1G Season

Written August 24th, 2011 by Joe Dexter

It’s that time of the year again folks! With the football season now a week away, it’s time to take you deep into the heart of Midwest football as we preview the Big Ten Conference.

The New and Always Improving B1G Ten Conference....

 

Despite last year’s play resulting in a three way tie for the conference crown, this upcoming season in the Big Ten could be one of the toughest through and through for competing teams. Gone are the days of best records, three way ties, and BCS controversy. Welcomed are a brand new institution in Nebraska that brings great competition to the conference, two new divisions with the worst names in college football, and a championship game that propels the winner into the best bowl game the conference has to offer.

Today Eric (Legends) and I  (Leaders) break down the conference by division to get you ready for Ohio State’s upcoming opponents, and some great games on the schedule for 2011.

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B1G Tournament Day 3 Preview

Written March 12th, 2011 by Eric

What are you hiding your face for Izzo? Your team crushed Purdue!

Update – As corrected in the comments, the games are on CBS.

Yesterday displayed some of the more interesting basketball games of the entire B1G season.  If you missed any of the games, like I did, you really missed out.

Northwestern and Ohio State started out the day by playing the only overtime game that would occur.  The Buckeyes managed to earn the 67-61 victory on the strength of 12 free throws in the overtime period and only one field goal.  Northwestern’s season will likely end in the NIT.

Illinois looked like they were on the right path towards earning themselves an NCAA tournament bid.  Then Michigan changed their minds and stole the game away 60-55 after being down 10 late in the second half.  The loss will possibly relegate Illinois to the NIT, and likely gives Michigan enough to get into the tournament regardless of today’s result against Ohio State.

Michigan State didn’t waste any time kicking Purdue in the chin for their 20 point beatdown in East Lansing.  The Spartans killed the Boilermakers 74-56.  The Boilers were only able to close the gap to within 9 in the second half, but simply were not able to outdo the surging Spartans.  Trust Izzo’s team to be ready to go in tournament time.

Finally, Penn State held Wisconsin to only 2 points in the entirety of the first 10 minutes of play, and 16 points in the first half.  They finally won the game, after scoring only 16 points in the 2nd half themselves, by a score of 36-33.  Yes, it was exactly as ugly as it sounds.  Talor Battle shot a laughable 3-18 from the field, but he wasn’t the only one.  Go look at the stats if you’re curious, but make certain someone’s there to perform mouth-to-mouth when you stop breathing from laughing so hard.

Incidentally, Penn State is in Joe Lunardi’s “Last 4 In”.  Their win over Wisconsin was enough to sneak them into the tournament for the first time since 2001.  Congrats Penn State!  Now go to work again today.

For today’s game, Read More

B1G Men’s Tournament Day 2

Written March 11th, 2011 by Eric

Thompson and the Wildcats look to face the Buckeyes today.

Yesterday was quite the day in B1G Tournament action!  All of the games were well fought battles by all involved, and it was sad to see a few teams’ seasons end.

To quickly recap the action:

Northwestern defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 75-65.  It’s probably not enough to finish off Minnesota’s season, as they’ll likely make the NIT, but it was a very disappointing end to an equally disappointing year.  Northwestern advanced to play the #1 seed Ohio State Buckeyes.

Michigan State miraculously came back from 7 down against the Iowa Hawkeyes.  The Spartans escaped with a 66-61 victory that should have been a whole lot closer in the end.  Give the Hawkeyes credit for fighting to the bitter end, but it simply wasn’t enough to get the job done.  You simply cannot let an Izzo coached team come back on you that way.  Michigan State now faces #2 seed Purdue.

Finally, Penn State managed to evade a surging Indiana in a functional home game for the Hoosiers.  The Nittany Lions pulled out the win 61-55, holding Indiana at arms length through most of the game.  This ends the Hoosier’s season with fewer Big Ten wins than last year with three.

For a look at today’s game, Read More

Big Ten Tournament Day 1 Preview

Written March 10th, 2011 by Eric

It's B1G!

As the sun came up today, it was the dawn of the first day of “real” conference basketball tournaments!  That’s right, folks, it is finally Day 1 of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament!

Each day this week, we will offer a brief rundown of the day’s matchups.  It’s just a little something for you to whet your appetite with while you wait for the Buckeyes to take the hardwood.

Make absolutely certain you don’t take any of these predictions to your favorite betting locale.  If you do, we’re not responsible for the results – unless you win.

The Big Ten tournament, as a whole has been a particularly unpredictable beast.  Teams at the bottom of the seeding, knowing that their fates on in their own hands and their season is coming to a premature end, tend to play beyond themselves.  It is not unusual for a team that plays in the first round to make it to the Championship game, though that’s also not particularly common either.

For our rundown of today’s games, Read More

Buckeyes defeat Spartans 71-61

Written February 15th, 2011 by Eric

All William Buford does is score buckets.

The Buckeyes and Spartans clashed in Value City Arena tonight in a battle that was a lot closer than the experts predicted.  In the end, though, the Buckeyes returned to their winning ways with a 71-61 victory.  Ultimately, the game was a lot closer than it should have been on the strength of Michigan State’s excellent shooting, while the Buckeyes simultaneously had a relatively poor night from the field.  William Buford’s 23 points lead all scorers, to which he added 5 rebounds and a pair of assists.

Things started auspiciously for the Spartans when Durrell Summers committed two quick fouls and ended up on the bench before the first TV timeout.  Summers, one of the starting guards and key scorers for the Spartans, was a critical loss early in the game for Michigan State giving the Buckeyes an advantage on the defensive end for the first half.

Both teams started out sluggishly, playing a tough defensive battle through the first quarter of the game.  Neither team was able to find much success in the paint.  This was particularly true for the Buckeyes who came into the game trying to drive the lane as much as possible.  This was a surprising change in offensive strategy for the Bucks, considering they prefer to use the dribble drive as an adjustment.  It was unclear if the change was the result of the Wisconsin game, or something identified in the MSU game film.
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