Thursday, June 25, 2015

Geno's Five Non-Conference Games To Watch For- No. 4: Oregon at Michigan State

                              Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

4) Oregon at Michigan State, Sept. 12, 8 p.m., ABC

In a game which turned out to have played a pivotal part in the selection of the four-team College Football Playoff, the Oregon Ducks and Michigan State Spartans exchanged leads back and forth in last season's meeting at Autzen Stadium.

Behind quarterback Marcus Mariota's 318 passing yards and three touchdowns, Oregon rattled off 28 straight points to come from behind and defeat Michigan State 46-27.

Fast forward to 2015 as these foes from different regions of the county will meet once more— this time at Spartan Stadium.

Oregon will have plenty to prove at the quarterback position after losing Mariota early to the NFL Draft, while Michigan State returns  its signal-caller Connor Cook for his senior season.

Did You Know?

The Ducks have won their last three regular-season non-conference games against current Power Five schools, while the Spartans have gone in the opposite direction losing their last two (Last Win- vs. Pittsburgh 17-13, Sept. 15, 2007).

All-Time Series History:

Oregon leads the all-time series 3-2 over MSU with both teams splitting the prior two meetings.

Players To Watch For:

Oregon junior quarterback Jeff Lockie:

Filling the shoes of Mariota will not be an easy task, but Jeff Lockie will look to keep things smooth and steady for the Ducks.

Lockie made a case for being considered the starting quarterback by throwing for 223 yards and three touchdowns in May's spring game.

Sophomore running back Royce Freeman: 

Royce Freeman could be a dark-horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy this season as he finished with 1,365 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns as a freshman.

Michigan State senior quarterback Connor Cook:

Cook will be the centerpiece of the Spartans offense in 2015 as he led the Big Ten in yards passing last season with 3,214 and threw for 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Senior defensive end Shilique Calhoun:

Shilique Calhoun returns for his final season to lead Michigan State's defensive core.

Calhoun's impact came from tackles for loss, going for 12.5, to go along with 8.5 sacks as a junior.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Geno's Five Non-Conference Games To Watch For- No. 5: Oregon State at Michigan

                                     Photo Credit: Geno Green

The non-conference college football season delivers some of the best match-ups fans crave for and this upcoming season continues to be no different.

Here are the first of five games that might play a key factor into who will finish in the top four of the season-ending College Football Playoff rankings in December:

5) Oregon State at Michigan, Sept. 12, Noon ET, ABC

For the second time in as many seasons, Michigan will host a Pac-12 team at Michigan Stadium, but this time around, there will be more eyeballs glued to the television.

No, not because of first-year Beavers coach Gary Andersen, who spent the previous two seasons at fellow Big Ten school Wisconsin, but because of Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh, who started at quarterback for Michigan from 1983-86, will make his home debut at the Big House and has a chip on his back to prove that all of the hard work in the off-season will pay off in front of a national television audience. 

While Michigan wrestles with who the starting quarterback will be between Shane Morris and graduate transfer Jake Rudock, Oregon State must find a replacement under center after Sean Mannion graduated last season. True freshman Seth Collins looks to be the frontrunner to take over as OSU's starting quarterback.

Did You Know?

Oregon State won its previous non-conference regular-season meeting against a power-five school back on Sept. 8, 2012 defeating Wisconsin 10-7, while you have to go back to Sept. 2, 2006 for Michigan's last victory against a school from a major conference in Vanderbilt (27-7).

All-Time Series History:

Michigan leads the overall series 4-0 against Oregon State with the last meeting on Sept. 20, 1986 at Michigan Stadium (31-12 U-M win).

In an interesting twist of fate, Harbaugh started at quarterback and led the Wolverines to victory.

Players To Watch For: 

Oregon State senior running back Storm Woods:

Storm Woods led Oregon State in rushing last season with 766 yards and caught 26 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. Three of Woods' six career 100-yard rushing games came in 2014.

Sophomore wide receiver Jordan Villamin:

Of the returning starters for the Beavers, Villamin could make the biggest impact.

As a freshman, Villamin led the team in touchdown receptions with six and finished second in catches (35) and yards (578).

Michigan Fifth-year senior quarterback Jake Rudock:

Although locked in a quarterback competition with Shane Morris for the starting job, Jake Rudock showed in his time at Iowa that he can lead a Big Ten team under center.

Rudock threw for 2,436 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for the Hawkeyes and finished second in the conference in completion percentage (61.7 percent).

Senior linebacker Joe Bolden:

With the departure of Jake Ryan, expect Joe Bolden to step in and anchor the Wolverines' defensive unit.

Bolden finished second last season in total tackles with 102, along with two sacks and is the returning defensive player who started all 12 games.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Geno Green Podcast- NBC Sports Hockey Analyst and Michigan State Alumnus Anson Carter

On this edition of The Geno Green Podcast, Geno sits down with NBC Sports Hockey analyst and Michigan State alumnus Anson Carter. We talk about everything from learning how to dress well to previewing the Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Lightning.


Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

2015 Pac-12 Football Television Schedule Update

                                        Photo Credit: Associated Press

With the college football season only three months from kicking off, more and more games are being announced on the national television schedule.

Here are some notable updates to the Pac-12 TV Schedule:

All Times ET:

Sept. 3 (Thursday)

Michigan at Utah, 8:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

Sept. 19

California at Texas, 7:30 p.m., Fox

Stanford at USC, 8 p.m., ABC

BYU at UCLA, 10:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

Here is the link to the rest of the Pac-12 schedule:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Geno's College Football Power 25 (June 2015)

Here is my updated Power 25 for the month of June. You will notice some significant changes from last month:

                                                          Last Month:

1) Ohio State                                         1

2) TCU                                                  2

3) Alabama                                            3

4) Baylor                                                4

5) Michigan State                                   5

6) Florida State                                      12

7) LSU                                                    6

8) Ole Miss                                             8

9) Mississippi State                                7

10) Arizona                                            9

11) Georgia Tech                                   10

12) UCLA                                              11

13) Oklahoma                                        13

14) Georgia                                            14

15) Arizona State                                   15

16) USC                                                 16

17) Wisconsin                                        17

18) Oregon                                             18

19) Utah                                                 20

20) Missouri                                           21

21) Clemson                                           22

22) Notre Dame                                      19

23) Auburn                                              23 

24) Boise State                                        25

25) BYU                                                 NR

Dropped Out Of The Top 25: