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November 1, 2013
Who are we going to see this Saturday in Ross Ade wearing the black helmets? The team that felt sorry for itself and played with zero energy and passion against Wisconsin, Northern, and Nebraska or the team that came out and punched Michigan State right in the mouth?
Man, I hope it's the latter because I saw fight, emotion, and some anger in Spartan Stadium. Especially on the defensive side of the ball, those boys came to play and it showed shutting down the Spartan offense and holding them to a single touchdown.
From my spot on the sidelines, I closely watched defensive coordinator Greg Hudson most of the game and I am impressed with his passion and knowledge. MSU was trying to make checks and reads on the fly and Hudson was able to get the Boilers in some disguises and coverages that had the young MSU quarterback Connor Cook confused all day. Now, Braxton Miller is the best player the Boilers will see all year so this should be interesting to see what Hudson has up his sleeve for the Buckeye quarterback.
Last time I wrote asking who or what this team is playing for and called into question its leadership. What I saw at MSU was some guys step up. I loved the way Ricardo Allen played and I think he is getting more and more comfortable with his role in the new defensive scheme.
On the offensive side of the ball it started with Brandon Cottom. MSU came into that game allowing less than 50 yards of rushing a game and Cottom had 21 yards on the first two carries of the game. It wasn't that the O-Line opened up huge holes for him; he was running like a beast carrying defenders on his back for extra yards. I know the O didn't get much done but I thought those two runs gave a spark that Hunt and the O-Line started to feed on.
I also saw receivers getting open; unfortunately quarterback Danny Etling didn't see them, but he will and when the game slows for him and the O-Line can give him some time it's gonna click and we will be off to the races.
Having two bye weeks in the same month is very interesting, but I think it was great for this team. The first bye week we had to basically install a new offense to better suit Etling's tremendous skill and we also installed a new defensive scheme. So it was basically putting in the basics.
We saw improvement on both sides of the ball with the changes. On offense, It hasn't been huge, but there are signs.
Now with the second bye week I feel like this team can really hone in on the new scheme and make some strides. Also, I am not sure if any of you heard, but we are wearing black helmets Saturday. Kind of a big deal I guess. Really big deal if we can get these guys. Boiler Up!
Follow me on twitter as I will let you in on what I see from the sideline each week @kelly_kitchel
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