Michigan State Football: How will Shea Patterson affect UM rivalry?

Raequan Williams with Paul Bunyan Trophy, Michigan State football (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Raequan Williams with Paul Bunyan Trophy, Michigan State football (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson made it official with his transfer to Michigan. What does this mean for Michigan State football’s rivalry?

I have a feeling that Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was probably thinking when he heard the Shea Patterson news, “Where’s the threat?”

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Dantonio has owned the Wolverines during his tenure. Patterson is an interesting quarterback prospect because he is coming from a quick-pace spread attack. Michigan’s offense is the exact opposite. It’s possible that coach Jim Harbaugh would adjust his offense for Patterson like he did with Colin Kaepernick.

It’s also important to note that Patterson is coming off a torn PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament). He was a five-star player coming out in 2015. By all accounts, this is a great quarterback pickup, however, it’ll be interesting how his talent will be used by the Michigan coaching staff. Harbaugh has been often criticized by media concerning his slow, plodding offense — the offense got exposed this season. The same criticism can be made about Mark Dantonio, at times.

It would seem disconcerting that UM has failed to recruit a legit quarterback prospect yet. Patterson and Jake Rudock were both transfers. Wilton Speight (recruited under Brady Hoke) is transferring as well as Alex Malzone. The Wolverines also have Dylan McCaffrey (who redshirted) and redshirt freshman Brandon Peters and let’s not forgot about John O’Korn who is graduating.

Also Kevin Doyle, a four-star prospect, is the quarterback of the 2018 class. Harbaugh loves competition, however, if Patterson is able to play right away then I’d be surprised if another quarterback does not transfer in the next year. That likely candidate would be Peters.

Peters shows promise and in a day and age where many highly recruited players (like Peters) do not want to sit and wait for their time. Especially when they seize the lead spot and have the threat of a transfer snatching that coveted signal caller position. If Peters loses the starting job then he might sit and wait a year in order to be a graduate transfer. Who knows what will happen because I’m just speculating at this point.

Harbaugh has felt the pressure of a dissatisfied fan base for the first time in his tenure in Ann Arbor.

Let’s look at obvious facts: he did not win a conference championship in the Pac-12 nor has he yet to win the Big Ten East. He finished third his first two seasons and fourth in 2017. Going 5-4 in the division has been grounds in the past for firing at Michigan. Harbaugh is feeling the pressure and desperate men do anything they have to do. Patterson is a world-class talent, however, can that talent shine in a pro-style offense that runs the ball on first and second down?

MSU is not about the hype of an offseason but about results on the field. UM has won the hype and the offseason yet the Spartans continue to win in this rivalry.

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What difference will Patterson make? Probably not much, although the hype will reach a fever pitch if Patterson is able to get on the field in 2018. As for the Spartans, they’ll continue to ‘focus on beating Michigan.’ The rivalry will continue much to the dismay of Jim Harbaugh.