We look at the Spartan Digest keys to a Michigan State victory over Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in Spartan Stadium.

Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans return home following a successful road victory over Notre Dame. Big Ten play now begins with a cross conference battle with the Wisconsin Badgers. What do the Spartans need to do to earn their third victory of the season? Spartan Digest presents our Keys to Victory the Wisconsin edition.

Wisconsin will enter Spartan Stadium looking to remain perfect after winning their first three games of the season.  While many have focused on the Badgers season opening win against LSU, their last outing has some questioning just how good they really are.


Emotion is what the game of football is all about.  While physical skill plays a large roll many times the mental and emotional aspects of the game are forgotten.  It’s a fact Michigan State is coming off an emotional win over Notre Dame and has spent the week feeling good about themselves.  Fans have to hope the Spartan coaching staff found a way to knock them down a peg getting them focused on a team that can put the first loss on the board.  Add in the fact this will be the first time the Spartans have taken the field early in the day and you must have everyone ready for the early arrival to the stadium and putting on the pads first instead of watching some football prior to coming to the stadium and playing under the lights.  If the Spartans come out sloppy, lack luster and unemotional we might be writing about a loss instead of a victory.


With senior quarterback Bart Houston struggling the Badgers went with redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook to give them a spark in their last game.  From all accounts it looks like Hornibrook will get the start against the Spartans.  In two games this season he’s gone 13-of-17 (76.4%) with one interception and two touchdowns.  However, the Spartans are not Akron or Georgia State on defense.  Much like they did against DeShone Kizer last Saturday they need to attack the untested signal caller who has never been put in the line of fire against a team like the Spartans.


In the last ten games Wisconsin has help their opponents to under 100 rushing yards seven times.  During those contest they have posted a record of 7-0.  Add in the fact the Badgers in those ten games also help opponents to an average of 81.9 yards per game and just 2.9 yards per carry, and you can see why it will be important for LJ Scott, Gerald Holmes or Madre London to combine for more than 100 yards on the day.


There are still questions if Badgers senior running back Corey Clement is totally healthy entering this game.  The senior has 1,914 rushing yards during his career and averages 6.33 yards per carry for his career.  Clement is not alone but if he’s healthy he’ll be the key to the Badgers offensive attack.


The Spartans offensive line is coming off a very strong game.  While going back and watching the film you still found some issues on the right side and with the Badgers running a 3-4 defensive scheme it will be a test to see what adjustments are made.  Look for the Badgers to bring pressure from their linebackers and safety.  So far this season the Badgers have posted seven sacks led by Alec James and T.J. Watt with two each.

Not only do the Spartans need a strong effort on the offensive side of the ball.  But they also need the defensive front to step forward with another big game as the Badgers will start four sophomores and one junior along their offensive line. 


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