First, the bad news

Fat Guy Corner


 

 

I am sick and tired of beating down on the Detroit Tigers week after week. So I am done with them this week.

The Detroit Lions looked like the same old Lions in week three of the pre-season. Really, a 13-12 victory over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars? If the third game is really a regular-season tune up, then take the Detroit Lions to the junk yard and scrap the entire team. The game last Friday night was a lack-luster cluster mess. There were numerous dumb penalties as usual. Then Mr. Suh hits Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne late. That was a big shocker there, huh? I say no shocker that Suh did it again. I wonder what goes on in that little brain of his sometimes.

One more meaningless pre-season game tonight in Buffalo and then the regular season begins. The Lions need to wake up and clean up their act or it will be another long season in Motown for all of us Lions fans.

Another big upset?

The good news is college football finally arrives tonight for the 2014 season. Michigan State opens up its season on Friday night at home against Jacksonville State. Michigan opens up Saturday against the hated Appalachian State football team. Yes, that team that upset the Wolverines in one of the top-10 upsets, maybe even top-five alltime in college football. If it happens again the college football world will be turned upside down on the first weekend of the season. Let’s take a look at Michigan and Michigan State for the upcoming season.

Let’s start with Michigan first. One has to wonder how hot the seat is that Brady Hoke is sitting on here in 2014. Michigan’s 7-6 record last year is unacceptable, in my opinion. Michigan brought in offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier from Alabama. Doug’s first job is to fix the Wolverines’ woeful rushing attack. Michigan had 114 rushing attempts for losses last year; the worst in the country. U-M only averaged 125 yards rushing last season. What would Bo think of those numbers?

Devin Gardner returns under center for the Wolverines. Gardner needs to cut down on interceptions and make better choices when throwing the football. The running game needs to see Derrick Green improve his game.

Last year he was out of shape and never played to his potential at all. He is trimmed down and looks better here in 2014. The receivers will need to replace Jeremy Gallon, who is gone. Devin Funchess will leave the tight end role and become a wide out. The offensive line is a huge question mark much like last year’s bunch. How they will develop as a unit is the big question.

The defense should be improved with defensive backs Ray Taylor and Blake Countess returning. I look for Jabrill Peppers to start as a freshman. The linebackers are glad to see senior Jake Ryan back from his knee injury. The defensive linemen were a huge disappointment last season. Can Frank Clark produce a good season? I see the Wolverines as an 8-4 football team here in 2014.

The Michigan State Spartans, who are coming off a Rose Bowl win, look to have another banner season in 2014. The quarterback Connor Cook should be even better this year than last. The running game is in fine hands with Jeremy Langford; he rushed for 1,422 yards last season and 18 touchdowns, too!

The receivers have senior Tony Lippet, R.J. Shelton and Deanthony Arnett; this is a deep and good group. The starting offensive line is deep and talented. It just might be the best one coach Mark Dantonio has ever had at MSU.

The defensive line has two bookends in Shilique Calhoun and Marcus Rush. The linebackers are the weakest link this season on the defense. They will need to step up. The defensive backs bring back Kurtis Drummond and Trae Waynes. The loss of Darqueze Dennard and Isiah Lewis is no easy task; those two will be missed.

This Spartan football team comes into 2014 with a ton of confidence and a great football team. I believe if they catch a few breaks they could end up in the four-team playoff at the end of the season. I like for the Spartans to go a solid 10-2, however, I will change that prediction if they beat Oregon in Oregon on Sept. 6. thefatguy@mihomepaper.com


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