Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.
Prep football playoffs filled with good first-round games
It seems like it was yesterday that high school football practice started in August, but already we are in the postseason. Following the playoff pairings show on Sunday night, here are the five best matchups to watch in the first round in the Detroit area.
- Detroit Cass Tech (6-3) at West Bloomfield (8-1) - Two powerhouse programs collide in an unusual, but electric first-round pairing. The field will be littered with future Division I college players and the name of the game will be speed, speed and more speed.
- Utica Eisenhower (6-3) at Macomb Dakota (9-0) - It’s a new season, which means Eisenhower will try and avenge a 31-7 loss to Dakota during the regular season.
- Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (7-2) at Romeo (7-2) - Two more MAC Red powers collide in a rematch after Romeo won the regular season meeting, 21-17.
- River Rouge (5-3) at Detroit Martin Luther King (5-3) - Is this really a first-round matchup? Yep it is, and it should be a dandy between No. 1 and No. 4 in Division 3 and two programs that have won state championships in recent years.
- South Lyon (6-3) at South Lyon East (7-2) - A rematch a week later after the teams played this past Friday to end the regular season. East won 27-21.
Now it’s Lions’ offense that’s a problem
So much for all the attention being on the Lions beleaguered defense.
While it’s still awful — although it was a little more respectable during a 24-6 loss at Dallas on Sunday — now the offense that everyone was praising after the first four games has gone silent.
After setting an NFL record with touchdowns in their first 11 quarters at the start of the season, the Lions have now gone two full games without scoring a touchdown.
In fact, Detroit had almost as many turnovers (5) as points (6) against the Cowboys.
Yes, there are injuries to running backs D’Andre Swift, and wideouts Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams, but every team has injuries.
If this continues, it could make the decision whether to invest in Jared Goff as the long-term answer at quarterback a bit easier.
Should MSU-UM be a night game?
It’s not something that many fans at both Michigan State and Michigan are thrilled about, but for the second time in the last five years, the annual game the teams will be at night on Saturday in Ann Arbor.
When the teams played at night in 2017, both athletic departments sent out a joint release beforehand imploring fans to be on their best behavior.
Having an entire day to fuel an already heated rivalry with tailgating doesn’t seem like the best of ideas, but we’ll see how it turns out.