Spartans waste TE talent in medicore Big Ten offense: MSU favored by FG at Iowa; Spartans up to #13 The Enlightened Spartan: Spartans waste TE talent in medicore Big Ten offense: MSU favored by FG at Iowa; Spartans up to #13

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Spartans waste TE talent in medicore Big Ten offense: MSU favored by FG at Iowa; Spartans up to #13

OK, the ES isn't going to spit-shine a turd, so let's call it like it is.  ES ain't going to brag about a 31-24 ho-hum win over 2-7, the Minnesoter "we got pounded at home by North Dakota State" Gophers. And, the ES ain't going to get into the worst defensive performance of the season.  That will improve, no doubt.  If it doesn't, well, we're going to spend the holidays in San Antonio, or worse. 

Mind, you, let's say it right out loud:  WHERE THE HELL ARE THE SPARTAN TIGHT-ENDS?

Other than the wonderful game vs Wisconsin and the pounding of overrated scUM, the Spartan offense is mediocre in Big Ten play.  Why?  Let the ES point to a lack of completing-passes-to-tight ends as one (or THE) instrumental area of concern.  Of the 81 completions in Big Ten play, just 13 (16%) are to tight ends, with a long of 25 yards to Linthicum vs Wisky.  The Big Green is NOT using its Tight Ends effectively, efficiently, or wisely.  Rarely does Cousins look for his TEs off the line of scrimmage unless he is dialed in from the huddle; this is unfortunate and must be addressed if the Spartans are to have any offensive success late into the season.  And, Spartan OC Dan Roushar's lack of ingenuity with his TEs, not using these giants off of picks, not directing TEs to drop into zones off of 3rd down blocks, or more importantly, not directing Cousins to attack the MIDDLE OF THE FIELD by dropping teardrops into TEs on fly or post patterns is -- well, puzzling -- and dammit, it ain't the Spartan "get the ball to Bob Organ" Tight-End way of doing things.

The lack of TE production is far more absent than anything the ES or the Spartan Nation expected this year, particularly considering it may have the strongest and deepest TE crew in the conference.  The lack of use of tight ends is a prime suspect in the loss at Nebraska, and was problematic in the close win this past weekend vs Minnesota.  There is far too much talent for the Spartans at TE with Celek, Linthicum, and Sims to just sit in blocking schemes without partaking of their soft hands.   Check out these measly stats:
  • W vs Minn:  Linthicum, 2 catches for 14 yards.
  • L vs Neb:  Linthicum, 2 catches for 16 yards. 
  • W vs Wisky:  Linthicum 3 for 58 yards, Sims 2 for 12 yards. 
  • W vs scUM: Linthicum, 2 catches for 22 yards. 
  • W vs Ohio State: Linthicum 1 for 7; Celek, 1 for 6. 
Note to Roushar and the Doctor:  better get yer Spartan TEs in the game plan at Iowa, or you will be playing in San Antonio again instead of in Pasadena.  Use your TE talent, don't neglect it. So far for 2011, it's a shame to see such talent wasted.

As of Sunday night, according to, Michigan State (-3) is favored by a FG at Iowa.

AP Top 25
1LSU (59)9-01499
2Oklahoma State9-01398
5Boise State (1)8-01288
10Virginia Tech8-1885
12Penn State8-1725
13Michigan State7-2718
15South Carolina7-2654
17Kansas State7-2546
20Georgia Tech7-2340
25Southern Miss8-1161
  • Dropped from rankings: Arizona State 20, West Virginia 24
  • Others receiving votes: TCU 56, Ohio State 50, Arizona State 15, Florida State 12, Washington 8, Iowa 4, Notre Dame 4, Baylor 3, West Virginia 1, Tulsa 1, Virginia 1