Michigan Football: How the Wolverines Will Stay on Top of MSU Next Year

Dan Carson@@DrCarson73Trending Lead WriterFebruary 22, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Devin Gardner #12 of the Michigan Wolverines controls the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

It’s never to early to start thinking about how to keep Sparty down. 

But putting “Little Brother” in the corner isn't guaranteed—not anymore, at least. 

Beating Michigan State will take a little finesse, a lot of muscle and the ability to key in on the Spartans’ weaknesses.

And here’s how the Wolverines will do it.


Abuse Inexperienced Quarterbacks

The Spartans gambled the house against TCU when Mark Dantonio decided to pull Andrew Maxwell and put in redshirt freshman quarterback Connor Cook for the last drive of the game.

And though they ended up winning, the decision to throw in Cook—who had only thrown six passes during the regular season—made it obvious that Dantonio was at his wits' end with Maxwell.

Should Cook be the Spartans’ starting quarterback next season, Michigan will need to squeeze the pocket and force him into making rookie mistakes.


Air It Out

Michigan has much to look forward to with 5-star recruit Derrick Green coming to Ann Arbor, but after MSU defensive end William Gholston and cornerback Johnny Adams declared for the 2013 draft, the Spartans have big shoes to fill in their pass rush and secondary.

Whether Devin Gardner or Shane Morris starts at quarterback, the QB will have plenty of time to pick apart MSU's secondary. 


Use Devin Gardner and Shane Morris  

Trying to decide how to use two players with Devin Gardner's and Shane Morris’ playmaking abilities is a good problem to have. 

Brady Hoke will be able to keep the Spartans guessing by putting Morris—the pure quarterback—and Gardner, a former wide receiver, on the field at the same time.


Continue Outrecruiting Sparty

A bevy of talent is marching into Michigan for the 2013-14 season, and in order for the Wolverines to stay on stop of the Spartans and avoid 12-10 squeakers like last season, their perennially superior recruiting needs to continue.

Michigan’s 2013 draft class remained at a high level and is ranked sixth in the nation—a far step above the MSU, which clocked in at 35th.