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Spitoons, Rich Homie Quan, and Puntin': Let's talk about Indiana-Michigan State with The Only Colors

Joe Tuohey of The Only Colors joins the program to arbitrarily rank rap songs and discuss brassware. Also football.

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Joe Tuohey is one of the small army of people that make SBNation blog The Only Colors go. I answered his questions and admitted my general disdain for basketball season right here. Go read them. Our discussion went as follows. Scroll down a bit if you'd like to just get to the football

Kyle Robbins: Okay, Joe. First question. Do you own a spittoon? Somewhere, in my parents basement back home, is some spittoon that's been willed down for some reason. I think we use if for coins or something. Or at least they did before they kicked me out some number of years ago. SEE I AM NOT A BLOGGER THAT LIVES IN MY PARENTS' BASEMENT I AM A REAL NORMAL PERSON I SWEAR.

Joe Tuohey: It would be pretty wild if I owned an actual spittoon, no? I mean, my roommate who uses chewing tobacco sometimes uses a Kombucha bottle to spit into. Does that count? Good news, though. You can buy a replica of the OB Spittoon for the low cost of $75!

Robbins: No, Joe, no. It does not count. But anway. Let's talk about the important things. Rich Homie Quan. Rank these songs without any explanation: Type of Way, Cash Money, Flex, Walk Thru, Man of the Year, WWYD.

Tuohey: Type of Way, Walk Thru, Cash Money, WWYD, Flex, Man of the Year (I answered this question last so I could do listening research). 

Robbins: Okay, okay football. So. It's a week later. Y'all come down from that punt yet? Because this seems like a trap game. I would like for it to be a trap game.

Tuohey: Nope, not even close. Here's the thing: we absolutely never will ever be over that touchdown. Jalen Watts-Jackson might get a statue built for him, if not for the fact that we'd have another statue to protect during Rivalry Week. I could talk about the minutiae of that play for hours. And I did, actually, on our podcast. There will absolutely be an emotional hangover of sorts.
I'm not sure I believe in the concept of a "trap game" in college football. These teams know they need to win every game to have a shot at the playoff at this point. Plus, MSU has only lost one game in the week after the Regular Michigan game - last year against Ohio State.

Oh, and by the way, it is impossible for a #RealRival game to be a "trap game." We always have Spittoon weekend circled on the calendar.

Robbins: Okay, outside of that -- I'm completely unsure of what to make of y'all. Probably because I haven't watched you much. You beat Oregon soundly, but that's looking less impressive by the week. You beat Michigan, who computers love. Narduzzi's gone. Seems like the secondary is a struggle. But yet Connor Cook's another year older and more mature. Is your football team good Joe? Or are they good?

Tuohey: If "beating Oregon soundly" means winning by a field goal and needing a stop on the final drive of the game, then we haven't had a close game all year!

The story of the early part of the season has been winning ugly games that should've been blowouts by letting teams back into games. MSU had a lead of 34-10 against WMU, only to win 37-24, 35-7 against Air Force only to win 35-21, 17-0 against CMU that got down to 17-10, 21-0 against Purdue only to win 24-21, 24-14 against Rutgers to allow a tying score inside 5 minutes. You get the picture. These games have been close. 

A big part of that is an offensive line and a secondary decimated by injury. Four different offensive linemen have missed time due to injury, and last week both starting safeties were true freshmen. So playcalling (on both sides) has been conservative. I'm not totally sure what to make of this team yet, because I don't know if the wins against Oregon and Michigan were particularly meaningful from a quality standpoint. What we do know is that they will win the close, crazy games.

Robbins: Thank you for demonstrating to our readership how little preparation I do before these interviews. Here's another question indicative of that: give Hoosier fans a name to know tomorrow that they haven't heard of but will need to watch out for -- a gamebreaker, x-factor, one of those footbally terms, etc.

Tuohey: I'm going with two: Grayson Miller and Khari Willis, who will form the starting safety tandem. Here's the thing: they are true freshmen. The season-ending injuries to two starters - CB Vayante Copeland and S R.J. Williamson -  as well as the sudden drop-off from S Montae Nicholson, have forced these two into huge roles. Against an Indiana team that can whip the ball around, they will be tested.

They played well against Michigan and they seemed to gain confidence as the game went along, but Jake Rudock is no Nate Sudfeld. If Miller and Willis can continue that type of solid play, this MSU defense should be in good shape to stop IU; if not it could turn into a shootout rather quickly.

Robbins: Okay. I'd ask for your biggest weakness -- but I know you're going to say special teams. Are they really that bad?

Tuohey: Oh boy. Yes. They are terrible. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong: allowing punt & kick return touchdowns, bad long snapping, poor placekicking, our backup QB playing punter (poorly, and not only for trick play reasons), and an inexplicable drop-off from our kickoff specialist. The advanced stats put MSU at 124th out of 128 teams on special teams, and that sounds about right. Before the Michigan game, MSU had 1 punt return in 6 games for a total of one yard. It has been atrocious in every way, except for the glorious, glorious final play last week.

Robbins: Give me a winner. Are you concerned? Are you nervous? Do the INDIANA FIGHTIN' HOOSIERS make you lose sleep on a friday night?

Tuohey: My prediction is MSU 48 - IU 28. Your Hoosiers will be able to move the ball a fair bit, but Connor Cook and the MSU offense will be too much for the IU defense to handle. I would say I'm concerned but not nervous or sleep-deprived; Mark Dantonio has my full faith, but the special teams issues and safety inexperience make me wonder if this game will be closer than it might be otherwise.