Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Big Ten 2010-Michigan State Spartans
2009 Record: 6-7 (4-4)
Head Coach: Mark Dantonio (22-17, 4th season...40-34 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Don Treadwell (4th season)
Defensive Coordinator: Pat Narduzzi (4th season)
2009 Bowl Game: Alamo Bowl, lost to Texas Tech 41-31
Offense: QB Kirk Cousins launched himself onto the landscape last season, helping to hold a drifting team together well enough to get into a bowl game. He can be expected to have a pretty big season in 2010. Keshawn Martin, Mark Dell, BJ Cunningham, and Keith Nichol (a former QB) will form a solid group of targets at WR for Cousins to throw to. The RB job is up for competition amongst a group consisiting of Larry Caper, Edwin Baker, Nick Hill, and Le'Veon Bell. Charlie Gantt returns at TE, and there is ample depth behind him. The left side of the line is set, but everything from center right needs a new starter.
Defense: There will be issues on the line, as DT Jaret Worthy is the lone returnee from a year ago. This defense was nailed to the wall on the pass, ranking only 112th in the country. Chris Rucker returns at CB, and FS Trenton Robinson return in the secondary, but the other CB and SS spots are up for grabs. That does not lend confidence that things can get much better against the pass. Eric Gordon and Greg Jones return at LB, and Jones is in the running to be the 2010 conference defender of the year, and is a potential top ten draft pick next spring.
Special Teams: Record Holding Pk Brett Swenson is gone, and will be replaced by a freshman in Kevin Muma this fall. There is a huge drop off there. He will be pushed by Don Conroy. Aaron Bates can be one of the best in the conference at the punter spot.
Wins: 9/4 Western Kentucky, 9/11 Florida Atlantic (@ Detroit), 9/25 Northern Colorado, 10/16 Illinois, 11/6 Minnesota
Toss Up Games: 9/18 Notre Dame, 10/9 @ Michigan, 10/23 @ Northwestern, 11/20 Purdue
Losses: 10/2 Wisconsin, 10/30 @ Iowa, 11/27 @ Penn State
Ohio State is not on the schedule. The Spartans can win anywhere between 6 and 8 games, depending if they can take the two home toss games against Notre Dame and Purdue. A steal on the road against Michigan would mean 9 wins if they take the two toss games at home. No real chance for a steal from the loss box.
Outlook: This season depends on the development of the rushing game and the right side of the o-line on offense, and the ability to somehow develop a pass defense. If those those items are accomplished, than there is a solid shot at 8 or 9 wins. Without theose goals being met, I see 6 or 7 wins. A bowl is likely either way.