Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Know Thy Enemy: Fresh off of a win, MSU football to host Rutgers this Saturday

November 11, 2022
<p>MSU kickoff at the end of the first half of a game against Rutgers on Oct. 24, 2020, at Spartan Stadium.</p>

MSU kickoff at the end of the first half of a game against Rutgers on Oct. 24, 2020, at Spartan Stadium.

Know Thy Enemy is a Q&A where the perspective changes from the eyes of The State News to the eyes of the student newspaper of Michigan State's opponent. This week, The State News' football beat writer Jenna Malinowski spoke with associate sports editor Jack Bisaha, correspondent Ellis Gordon and contributing writer Brandon Loree of The Daily Targum ahead of Saturday's Rutgers-MSU game.

Michigan State is fresh off an upset win on the road against Illinois and inching closer to bowl eligibility. The Spartans (4-5) are back in East Lansing this Saturday to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Q: What would the offensive game plan be against Michigan State.

A: Brandon Loree: "I know Gavin Wimsatt is young but this is also a Rutgers team that was dealing with a circus at quarterback early in the season, has finally solidified the position but also fired their offensive coordinator before the bye week. Nunzio Campanile has taken over and they looked really good against Indiana but then dropped the ball against Minnesota."

A: Ellis Gordon: "You got to establish the run first, allow Michigan State's linebackers to pause a second to wonder if Wimsatt is rolling out or if one guy is taking up the middle or if it's going to be a play action and that's where the offense works the best. Once the run is established you got to air it out. He (Wimsatt) just turned 19 two weeks ago. The reads sometimes are not there. He has trouble reading safeties especially. He often overthrows the ball. ... In terms of arm power, he is up there with the best in the Big Ten, in terms of just raw power, throw it down the field."

Q: If you were defending against Michigan State, what weak spots do you see in their offense and how would you defend against it.

A: Jack Bisaha: "We’re very good on the defensive line. We have some great players in Aaron Lewis and guys on the defensive line that could really make an impact but then also in the secondary, we got some playmakers as well like Christian Izien is very good. He’s been kind of our best defensive player so far. Max Melton has been very good. I’d just say pressure the quarterback, make sure Aaron Lewis is getting involved because it definitely wreaks havoc for every team we play."

Q: What is the final score prediction and why.

A: Brandon Loree: "I'll say 24-21, Michigan State in overtime. I'll give a little caveat because I think it'll be close. Again, the inexperience of Wimsatt going on the road, second start on the road. I think he still has a lot to learn, a lot to grow. They get 21 points. I think that's positive development for him, but I do think that Michigan State after beating Illinois, they look like the better team at least right now. But also too, Rutgers beat Boston College, we went on the road too, so anything's possible."

A: Jack Bisaha: "I think it's going to be 24-14, Michigan State. ... For this one it's going to be 17-14 Michigan State is going to be up and to Brandon's point, Gavin Wimsatt is going to throw a pick-six that ends the game with about two minutes and three seconds left and after that, it'll be over."

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