2009 Michigan State Spartan Football Team Preview
Michigan State Spartans
2008: 9 -4, 6 – 2, Lost to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl.
2009: Prediction 11 – 1, loss to Penn State, Plus Bowl Victory give them 12 -1 for 2009….
The graphics from MSU really get you Pumped up.... This is from the Spring Program...
The Spartans continue to make successful progress under Mark Dantonio and his staff. 2009 will be no exception in the march toward national prominence. SpartyMSU will detail each of the opponents so that YOU, can have an idea how they will fare and who they are up against… poor Purdue…
This years strength of schedule is ranked to be (By CFN) 44th, and 4th in the Big Ten.. but they don’t play the OSU Buckeyes this year.. or if you want to believe Phil Steele’s toughest opponents rankings method, the Spartans are ranked 28thand 5th in the Big Ten… Either way, its not a cake walk.
As the Spartans enter the year they have huge holes to fill with the loss of:
Javon Ringer RB (96% of all carries in 2008)
Brian Hoyer QB
Justin Kershaw DT
Brandon Long DE
Roland Martin G
Jesse Miller OT
Otis Wiley S
Ringer was the focus, the heart and soul of the Spartan offense last year, incredible 390 carries.. No one yet seems to be as versatile and talented.. that’s not to say the spot is empty.. Ohhh contraire Pierre… Ashton Leggett, A.J. Jimmerson, Andre Anderson and Caulton Ray will compete for starting job… in looking at last years stats, with Javon getting so many touches, it didn’t leave room for anyone else to even make a dent in the records, second closest was Andre Anderson with 26 carries and 116 yrs. …. but based upon the limited stats in 2008, and with watching the Spring game I think its down to Leggett (5’11” – 235) and Jimmerson (5’10” – 215). Either one will be a success and difficult to stop…
This is one of the first years in a long time I have seen so much talent in the Green and White QB position. This is a real boon for the Spartans. Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol seem to be 1 and 1A for the spot. Combine this with the loss of Ringer, plus the depth at receivers.. and the Ball will be in the air much more than last year. Watching both of these guys throw the ball in the spring with accuracy and zip makes me feel real good about our chances.. Cousins seems to have a smidge faster release than Keith, but I watched them both check off receives and then let the ball go. This year, we will miss Hoyer.. but, we’ll be OK…..
Depth.. I though that Izzo had a corner on that market.. but, I be wrong Bob ! Receivers: Mark Dell, B.J. Cunningham, Charlie Gantt, Blair White, Myles White, Brian Linthicum. Don’t think there is a better or deeper group in the Big Ten. This spring saw some phenomenal catches by both of the Whites, Gantt and Linthicum. These guys all have sure hands.. and if its in the area. They will pull it down. Knowing the offense will be more diverse and is headed to a more air attack, these numbers are guaranteed to increase….
Blair White 39 for 628 yrds
B.J. Cunningham 35 for 476 yrds
Mark Dell 31 for 618 yrds
Charlie Gantt 19 for 302 yrds
How do these skill players do it.. they make their numbers due to the guys up front. Yeah.. no question, a big loss is Roland Martin RG and Jesse Miller RT, but.. but, all others are returning, a tight comfotable group: C Joel Nitchman, LG Joel Foreman, and LT Rocco Cironi... one year older, more experienced as a group. Probably filling in at RG is the talented McGaha and at RT Deane, both of these young men can, Nay must .. Nay.. Will step up and fill the shoes of the talented Miller and Martin… With the balance of the line being returning starters.. Either signal caller should have the time he needs… and with Javon playing this year in the NFL, we will need time to exercise the air attack… The front 5 are KEY this year…
Lets take a look on the other side of the ball…. D.. Big D… SpartyMSU’s favorite side of the ball… Fun Stat: 9 out of the 12 top tacklers for the Spartans are returning..
The strength of the “D” are the line backers.. 3 Positions, 3 Stars… Gordon at WILL, Decker at MIKE, and Greg Jones at the SAM. Jones is clear Leader. Check out what Hondo S. Carpenter Sr. said about Jones: “ Greg Jones is the most complete player on the Spartans. “ I share the solid sentiment.. he’s not only the leader but probably the best back in the league.... I don’t want to even talk about these guys.. why ruin the surprise as opposing teams try to run, throw to the middle... Jones, Decker and Gordon are the 3 Horsemen of Doom for Opposing teams. With depth in mind: a new name to the group that you will hear often, DB Trenton Robinson. This will be fun to watch.. bring it.. nuf said.
Another Big Green Stat Alert… . This one says more about the Spartan Big D then it does about the offense. The Spartans finished the Big Ten Season, in 3rd place, but they were only 8th in the Big Ten in total offense.. Oooohhh SNAP !.. that’s Big “D”.
Up front on “D” Spartans have lost Brandon Long DE and Justin Kershaw DT, they are back filing with Blazing fast speed, talent and strength… Worthy DT (6’3” – 297), Tyler Hoover ( 6’7” 268). But much like the offense, the balance are returning starters… DE Anderson, DE Hoover, NT Wilson . … Yeah we can hold’em… Big Green “D” Stat: the Michigan State Spartans were #1 Stingiest Defense in the nation last year on 4th downs: 17 attempts, 3 conv., for 17.7%.. Can you say.. Don’t bring that Weak ass effort…
Last year the weakness was supposed to be at Safety.. that didn’t end up being the case, and this year we’re that much stronger with Rucker and Weaver. I will miss Otis “My Man” Wiley, a talented, smart, and articulate young man, but again, the Spartans have talent to fill. Even with Otis gone, 75% of the “D” interceptions are all coming back.. Danny Fortener, Chris Rucker, Ross Weaver.. The Pass D is another strength of the “D” Corp.
And we can’t forget about the Spartan Kicker, Mr. DNBTU (Dead Nuts Between the Uprights) Mr. Brett Swenson. The kid is M-O-N-E-Y…. He showed it last year, the year before, this spring.. and certainly this fall…
The Spartans are talented, they have depth, the do have a winning season on the Horizon.. We’re predicting 11 -1 in the Regular Season..
Below is what we think the line ups will be….
With all of is all being said.. SpartyMSU will review the Season Game by Game.. and forecast the fortunes..
Bottom Line: and it looks to be another Great Season of Spartan Football…