3. Under 4.5 penalties
Michigan State will have more penalties than Minnesota. The Spartans are averaging an astonishing eight penalties per game while Minnesota is fourth in the nation in fewest penalties, even after committing seven against Iowa last week.
So, instead of turning it into a zero-sum game, just focus on what you can control and limit the dumb penalties. Pre-snap penalties should be almost eliminated by now, eight weeks into the season, unless the coaches aren’t correcting or emphasizing it in practice.
Maybe limit the number of offensive plays with tight ends, as they seem to commit egregious penalties at the worst possible times. I still don’t understand the formation penalties on punts. Just keep one and get the 11 smartest players to run it every single time. It’s a punt, we’re not re-inventing the wheel here.
After the coaching staff saying they have been a little lenient towards the players, this isn’t all that surprising. Football is about commitment and discipline and if these players aren’t getting it off the field, it directly translates to mistakes on the field. These players are seeing how the actions have consequences when they don’t run the right route, when they line up incorrectly, or if they don’t use proper technique.
It is now so ingrained in the culture of the program, that coaches will essentially have to put the toothpaste back in the tube if they want these players to give 100 percent focus and effort.
It will be a game of wait and see on Saturday for the fans.