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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Five keys for the Spartans today vs. FAU

A win is win, that statement doesn't change, but it was evident the Spartan fan base was less than enthused with Michigan State's 28-6 victory of Youngstown State last week. Coach Mark Dantonio shrugged off any concern, but he did say he'd like an opportunity to some of the backups in for more game reps. Here's five things to watch for as the Spartans take on Florida Atlantic today:

1. Looking for a quick start: Michigan State's offense spent a lot of time on the sidelines in the first half last week as the Penguins worked the clock with a deliberate running attack. Look for MSU to try and come out swinging and try to get some points on the board early.

2. Getting Maxwell in the game: In an ideal situation, the Spartans would like to build a comfortable enough lead by halftime to get backup quarterback Andrew Maxwell some quality time under center. The coaching staff is high on Maxwell and would like to get him more in-game experience.

3. Somebody sack somebody: Michigan State's defensive line didn't live up to the billing in Week 1. Jerel Worthy and William Gholston has plenty of promise, but need to produce some results on the field and get into a rhythm before the big games start (as in next week against Notre Dame).

4. Hill's day in the light: This could be the game were freshman running back Nick Hill gets plenty of carries and an opportunity to show off exactly how elusive he can be.

5. Needing another target: B.J. Cunningham tied the all-time reception record for the Spartans last week with his 9 catch game. Yet, Cousins would love another consistent target to emerge. The Spartans do have depth at the WR position, but nobody's stepped up as a for sure No. 2 threat.

Notes: DE Tyler Hoover (Novi) and WR Bennie Fowler are two Oakland County players not dressed for today's game, both are battling injuries... The Situation from Jersey Shore is reportedly going to be in attendance today, I'm sure the freshman dorms at MSU will be filled with excitement.


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