Week #8: Michigan State University – Open Thread

Ohio State travels to East Lansing to take on the surprisingly good Michigan State Spartans this Saturday, 3:30 PM. The game will be on ABC, barring any brain farts from the ABC operators.

How do the Buckeye fans see it? Buckeye Planet and The O-Zone.

How does Sparty’s fans see it? SpartMSU (seriously, Ringer better than Beanie? Come on guys, let’s be reasonable) and The Enlightened Spartan

What about the “Pros”? ESPN and SI.

For all the attention MSU and Ringer are getting for their good ground attack, they’re actually averaging a yard less than Ohio State is per game (177 to 176). A yard is nothing. But our running game has been without Beanie for over half the season. Let’s not forget who has the best running back in the league (when healthy). (That would be Beanie)

Injuries are hurting OSU right now. It’s a total shame that to see DE Lawrence Wilson go down again. It’s almost unfair. Losing Adams and Shugarts isn’t devastating, but losing the chance at redshirting them hurts nonetheless.

Stay healthy, please!

And now it’s broken record time: We have been begging, pleading for the coaches to Unleash the Beast! Isn’t Ohio State’s motto still “Do Something Great®”? How about the coaches motto being “Do Something Different®”? We are just asking to give the Beast a chance. And yet our cries go unheeded. Will this be the game? Will Michigan State come into this game, ready to take it to the Buckeyes and smack them in the mouth, forcing a change? Will a gut punch get the coaches to turn to page 2 of the playbook? IS THERE A PAGE 2? Someone please help me understand.

So if we’re looking at the status quo come tomorrow at 3:30, we could be in for a long game. Ohio State handled Ringer last year. He’s not a big dude. We can and will have to stop him. But we also have to respond. Pryor needs to relax and let the game come to him. Players need to get along and trust each other. Pessism cannot rule the day. So much to do!

There’s no contest this week, but don’t let that stop you from giving us your predictions on the final score. And who wins the battle on the ground? Beanie or Javon? Let us know.

el Kaiser’s predictions:
OSU: 24 MSU: 20 – It’s going to be a close one, but I think OSU’s defense holds strong and only gives up 2 TDs.
Beanie: 180 yds, Ringer: 149 yds.

sportsMonkey’s predictions:
The situation sets itself up for a very bad day for Sparty. While OSU fans have been a little insecure over the offensive performance over past week or two (myself included), we have to remember that this team is actually underachieving. Conversely, MSU has ridden a one-dimensional scheme into a respectable record, has been overachieving, and overconfidence is brewing as a result.

Both situations will have to balance out sometime, and this weekend is the likely opportunity for it to happen. Sparty is overconfident, not only because of their success under Ringer, but also because of OSU’s struggle last week against Purdue.

I think it’s dangerous to look at OSU’s struggles and underestimate them. Beanie Wells had the flu last week – he did not practice or do drills all week, and was wheezing and gasping on the sidelines – and still put up just shy of 100 yards. MSU’s rushing defense is ranked 8th in the Big10, and that stat includes giving up 140 yards to Sutton last week.

And their quarterback? Hoyer has played for three more full games than Pryor has, yet Pryor has two more TDs on the season (9 touchdowns to Hoyer’s 7). MSU has not shown the ability to win games with their QB yet.

Therefore, that leaves Ringer. Ringer is good, yes, and will give MSU the best chance it has to win the game. But if there is one very, very nice thing about OSU this season, it’s the dependable and consistent play of the defense. This defense – this starting class of the past few years – has not yet failed a challenge against a one-dimensional team (e.g, a team known either for a great back, or a great QB). OSU handled Ringer last year, and a more experienced, veteran defense will probably do the same thing again this Saturday. No question whatsoever – OSU will absolutely keep Sparty to a reasonable amount of points.

That means – shocker! – that OSU will have to depend on its offense to win this one. Who knows which Buckeye team will show up? They seem to be rudderless. I know it’s cliche to say this, but it almost appears as if OSU’s offense (under Pryor) has been playing to the level of its opponent.

With all those factors in mind, I think MSU’s intensity ratchets up the Bucks’ own performance and (if OSU plays like it has been the past month or so) OSU will struggle at times but still win convincingly 20-13. However, if the “balancing” I mentioned above happens, they could easily win this game 41-10.

Either way, Beanie may almost double up Ringer, 160 yds to 90.


  1. This is the game where the team finally comes together and plays to their full potential. OSU 30, MSU 10. Beanie goes for 185 and the Silver Bullets hold Ringer under 100 at 96 yards on the day.

  2. I’ve seen a loss coming to Michigan State since the hiring of Dantonio, but it was just a question of when. I think with all the uncertainty and doubt in this team that this season will be it. Javon Ringer will not pound the ball successfully, and in fact the defense will stand tall – but the offense will give the game away.

    MSU 14
    OSU 6

  3. i see a loss in the horizon, but i still can’t bring myself to bet against my buckeyes. javon and beanie will both have success, but i see the key being in our secondary out performing their secondary. watch for boeckman sometime in the game to throw a bomb to one of the brians.

    tOSU 20
    MSU 14

    lets go bucks!

  4. Tak about overconfident? this post screams of a team and fan base that is merely looking ahead to next week. and as far as beanie being better than ringer, the stats say otherwise. Beanie has played bad teams and had pedestrian numbers. he has a decent ypc avg, but he isnt 100%. At the moment there isnt a human being alive who can honestly say that beanie is better.

  5. Jon – Beanie is averaging 6.7 yards per carry, and he’s only at 80%.

    Read that sentence over and over until the awesomeness of that fact sinks in.

    If you want to compare the two on equal ground, then look at their performance last year – Beanie beat Ringer in every single rushing statistic, against the exact same opponents.

    Holy cow, in last year’s OSU/MSU matchup, Wells outrushed Ringer 221 to 49.

    221 to 49!!

    How could anyone claim that Ringer’s a better back, basing it only on (1) numbers put up against soft competition and (2) against someone running in a lineman’s boot at 75-80%% health? Beanie puts up better numbers when he’s injured as Ringer does when he’s given the ball 45 times a game.

    This isn’t an OSU perspective, it’s a national one. Nobody outside of East Lansing would ever claim that Ringer is a better back than Beanie.

    What most students of the game realize is that a HUGE part of Ringer’s perceived “awesomeness” is based on one great day, a 5 TD performance against Eastern Michigan, a team ranked 108th in rushing defense. When they played Iowa, ranked 18th in rushing D, he didn’t score a TD at all.

    Ringer is a fine college back. But he’s horribly overrated. MSU has a middlin’ QB, average WRs, and a porous defense. The only chance Sparty has to win the game depends on whether or not OSU shoots itself in the foot & gives the game away – (which could absolutely happen).

  6. Wells does has a great ypc average, better than ringer, but thats about it. AS it stands right now Ringer is better, pre season wells was the better back, but things didnt go as expected and when Ringer wasnt carrying the ball as much, liek wells he was averageing well over 5.5 per carry, give wells the ball as much as ringer and his average comes down as well. you cant be the best back in the big ten if you dont score touchdowns, period. And OSU doesnt score touchdowns thorugh the air or on the ground, i do expect wells to have a good day agaisnt MSU until greg jones purposely steps on his toe and he is out for the season, it comes down to line play and quarterback play in this one.

  7. jon – “preseason wells was the better back”

    Wells did not play in preseason. The man’s only played in parts of three and a half games.

    “give wells the ball as much as ringer and his average comes down as well”

    Again, that can be disproved by going back to last year. Both had almost the same number of carries (245-274), played against the exact same opponents, yet Wells rushed for far more yardage and 9 more TDs than Ringer. OH, and those stats include playing the NC game against the nation’s best defense, where Ringer’s included a no-TD performance in a crappy bowl loss against Boston College.

    Furthermore, at this pace, Ringer is expected to finish at no higher than 4.5 ypc, which is respectable, but nowhere near Beanie’s 6.7 projection.

    I’m telling you, Beanie’s in another league. Literally. Wells has almost 50 pounds on Ringer, yet they both have the same 40 time (just a shade under 4.5). Not to mention the upper body strength that reveals itself when a defender gets the Stiff Arm of Justice. Ringer is a fine back, I’m not disparaging him. But Beanie has chunks of guys like that in his stool.

  8. This isnt last year monkey boy. we are talking about this year. Last year we had a two back system you cant even begin to compare the two, Caulcrick had 22 towuchdowns that ringer will get this year, comparing the two from last year further shows your incompetence.

  9. OSU may very well shoot themselves in the big toe this time around (as has been mentioned), but I suspect that Beanie will show up to this one and demonstrate (despite Jon’s protests) that:
    Beanie > Ringer
    to the tune of Beanie cracking the 200 yard mark, and Ringer barely cracking the 100 yard mark (and Beanie will do so in about 20-25 carries, while Ringer will tote the ball close to 40 times)

    However, I think that mistakes on O will keep this game uncomfortably close with the Bucks scrapping by with the win:
    OSU 23
    MSU 21

  10. I agree that if things went according to plan (Beanies injury) he would more than likely have better numbers than ringer, my only argument is that AT THIS VERY MOMENT Ringer is better based on the fact that he has played a full season. OSU is a better team all around, but with their offensicve struggles, this one will certainly be interesting, Is this the week MSU melts down on d in the red zone? is this the week OSU offense clicks and they take out their frusrations on MSU?, it remains to be seen. I jsut know i will be hammered and cheering for the spartans.

  11. I have an uncomfortable feeling that ‘E’ is going to end up being the one who was right. I hope not. This team needs MSU to go down like a sack of wet cement to give it the confidence necessary to play w/ PSU the following weekend.

  12. I hope I’m wrong SM, as I agree that OSU needs to kick the crap out of MSU and be rolling to be able to stop the PSU juggernaut; but it’s one of those gut feelings.

  13. Maybe Barack Obama Should be running this team. He can bring “hope” and “change” to the Buckeyes…

    I’d actually rather turn the team over to a hot bowl of mayonaise.


    There are about a billion talking heads that say Javon Ringer is the best running back in the nation. I say other wise…

    There are over 120 ball carriers that have a higher average per carry than Ringer. I don’t know the exact number because the list bottoms out at 120. Included in that list are the great Dennis Kennedy and James Starks. Don’t worry, I never heard of them either.

    The guy gets the ball over 35 times a game. 35! Sorry, but I’m not ready to send him an invite to the Heisman ceremony just yet.

    Not only is Ringer overrated, but the entire MSU team is overrated. Here is a list of their opponents:

    8/30 @ California L 38-31
    9/06 Eastern Michigan W 42-10
    9/13 Florida Atlantic W 17-0
    9/20 Notre Dame W 23-7
    9/27 @ Indiana W 42-29
    10/04 Iowa W 16-13
    10/11 @ Northwestern W 37-20

    The only team on this list worth a damn is Cal and MSU lost to Cal.

    I’m not really sure why anyone is worried about this game. The OSU defense feeds on run first, non spread offenses…especially ones that are lead by a QB (Hoyer) that is completing 50% of his passes. Sorry, I’m not impressed.

    The OSU vs Purdue game, as much as everyone has whined about the OSU offense, the game was NEVER in doubt. After a huge road win vs Wisky, OSU is allowed a bump in the road. They are now focused and ready to go.

    OSU: 30
    MSU: 13

    Wells: 125 yards rushing
    Ringer: 80 yards rushing

    Pryor splits time with Boeckman and the offense puts together a couple long TD drives for a change.

  14. Who is worth a damn on OSU’s schedule? the mighty wolverines beat wisco, that win means 0 and you striuggled mightily in that on. Agains the wrost defense, as in number 11/11 in the big then you did not score a touchdown, now thats saying something.

  15. and out of respeoct for your program i wont even bring up the “big” game.

  16. Dear Jon,

    Are you seriously a MSU fan, or just another in a long line of uninformed Buckeye haters?

    Here is your above post:

    “Who is worth a damn on OSU’s schedule? the mighty wolverines beat wisco, that win means 0 and you striuggled mightily in that on. Agains the wrost defense, as in number 11/11 in the big then you did not score a touchdown, now thats saying something.”

    Is this even English? Do you not know how to spell Wisconsin? I’m guessing the answer is no, based on the fact that you spelled the following words wrong:

    1. the-The spelling here is actually correct, however you failed to properly capitalize it.

    2. wisco-I’m guessing you mean Wisconsin, although this sounds like a new kind of Crisco-in either case it needs to be capitalized.

    3. striuggled-???

    4. Agains-???

    5. wrost-???

    Like your opinions regarding college football, I’d be glad to correct your spelling as well.

  17. no answers on why OSU is so great, just corrections on my spelling, in a post that i hastily wrote while im busy at work. sorry i didnt take the time to edit my post on your little blogosphere. all i am saying is that OSU = very unimpressive in almost every facet of the game. not a lot going on with the team besides averageness all around, as evident in the USC blowout. if you wan to correct spelling, teach 4th grade english, if you want to defend your team, give me something concrete.

  18. OSU Greatness:

    2002: Ranked 1st in the nation and won the National title
    2003: Ranked 4th in the nation
    2004: Ranked 19th in the nation-rebuilding year—still the 19th best team in the country
    2005: Ranked 4th in the nation
    2006: Ranked 2nd in the nation
    2007: Ranked 4th in the nation

    In the last 6 years OSU have finished in the top four, 5 years, went to 3 national title games and won one.

    How’s that?

  19. Michigan State Greatness:

    2002: Not ranked-Didn’t play OSU
    2003: Not ranked-Lost to OSU 33-23
    2004: Not ranked-Lost to OSU 32-19
    2005: Not ranked-Lost to OSU 35-24
    2006: Not ranked-Lost to OSU 38-7
    2007: Not ranked-Lost to OSU 24-17

    See the difference. See the trend?

    PS. Are you saying that you belong in 4th grade English…or lower?

  20. I think that the way to make a case for Ringer>Wells is to look at their play this year (haha, duh!). But this goes for more than ypg and ypc and tds. Wells has a history of injuries. Has he played in a full season since he became a Buckeye? I’d love to see him healthy for a full season, and I distinctly remember Lee Corso before last year’s National Championship disaster stating that this Beanie Wells is a MAN. He is a pounding, big, heavy, fast running back that makes defenses look ridiculous when he’s healthy. In college, he is a man amongst boys and is difficult to stop. When he’s healthy.

    Now, Ringer on the other hand, hasn’t gotten any injuries. While I think his skill set places him below Wells (especially in big play ability), this guy carries the ball like a zillion times per game and doesn’t even look tired. That is pretty awesome. I get winded going up two flights of stairs, but taking a pounding all season long (even against pedestrian defenses) is still dang impressive. Of course, ypc, ypg , touchdowns blah blah blah, but the man shows up and goes hard every week, and he’s still pretty good and he’s reliable for 100+ pretty much every week. Nice.

    That being said, I do think Wells is better overall. If I was an NFL scout, I would want Wells to be a feature back, but I would also definitely be worried about his history of injury. Ringer would be a fantastic complementary back, especially when used in tandem with a big, heavy back.

    Oh my god, how about Ringer and Wells lining up in the same backfield?? Jamal Lewis is all old now, how about Ringer and Wells wearing the orange? Smash all day with Wells and slash all day with Ringer, now that’s a pretty awesome idea.

  21. Anyways, I think Ohio State’s offense will perk up a bit and we’ll see four tds. On the other hand, I think MSU will be overlooked by the defense a bit and also be able to put up some points. I’ll still go with the scarlet and gray, 31-28. Beanie will probably outgain Ringer, but I don’t think it will be double or triple, we’ll say 130-140. But Pryor will get the majority of tds, leaving Wells with one, and Ringer will put up a few scores of his own.

    Well, that’s why they play the games, so let’s bring it on!

  22. Hey NMUSpidey – I keep getting my emails to you bounced back. Can you send an email to motsag@gmail.com please.

  23. This is trouble. Northwestern is taking it to Purdue. Purdue made us struggle. The only team that Northwestern has lost to is Michigan State.

  24. It’s been a few weeks for me guys but I am going with 27-14 Bucks! Ringer is a good back but Beanie(when 100%) is a GREAT back. The “Ringer is better” non-sense will be put to rest after this week. I’m looking for 200+ for Mr. Stiff Arm and Ringer will carry about 70 times for 90 yards! In all seriousness, isn’t this week about getting the bugs worked out before the Big 10 Championship next week. We should see a lot of our favorite Senior QB, just in case he is needed next week! I just wish ESPN would quit trying to rip this team apart…Boekman is a good kid and I’m sure he isn’t happy to see the media blowing a locker room issue up!(if there really is one) Sorry I’m off my soapbox now

  25. Dear Jon,


    2008: OSU 45 MSU 7

    PS. Do you still think Ringer is better than Wells?

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