22 more thoughts from the ES on MSU over TCU in B-Dubs Bowl The Enlightened Spartan: 22 more thoughts from the ES on MSU over TCU in B-Dubs Bowl

Monday, December 31, 2012

22 more thoughts from the ES on MSU over TCU in B-Dubs Bowl

In no particular order, below are some more concrete thoughts from the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory.  The ES' original comments posted at 2 am (and refined by 11 am) are also available linking here

1.    Peanut Barrell – packed at kickoff; the first half was so awful to watch, the place was 80% empty by halftime… it was also just past midnight. 
2.    ES and Big Bob closed the Barrell. When the game ended, there was noone else in the bar, if you can believe it. Center of the universe, and it’s Big Bob and the ES that remain standing.
3.    First three quarters of offense were a disaster for MSU – Roushar had no idea what to do or to call, complete lack of rhythm by the offense and the play calling. In the first half, it was as poor of an offensive performance all year by the Spartans.  Reminded the ES of the game vs Notre Dame.
4.    Great time management at end of game by MD.  The ES was very impressed at how the Doctor called timeouts to stop the clock during TCU’s drive for a field goal – with MSU’s offense playing as poorly as it had, the Spartans needed as much time as possible to get down the field to have a chance to win.
5.    Maxwell unable to make good, quick decisions – throughout the game he had difficulty in figuring out what to do, either in the pocket or on the run.  His 6-for-16 efficiency is a reflection of his difficulties (and good TCU defense combined with spotty pass protection).  However, the few times he DID make a good decision…
6.    Dropped passes were not Maxwell’s fault.  Lippett, Burbridge, and Mumphrey all dropped passes at times when Maxwell had nice throws, or when he was under pressure.  The timing of the drops, particularly on third down, was poor and killed drives. Still...
7.    Connor Cook ran better, and had more zip on his throws.  He just looked better.  He was in charge.
8.    When MSU did throw to its TEs and RBs, it certainly proved most effective. Sims had three catches, each of them were huge; of the 11 receptions, six were by TEs and RBs.
9.    The only throw downfield that I can recall was the throw by Bell to Hammock for 29 yards; when your RB has the longest pass play of the game, it means you have major issues at QB. Offensive coordinator Dan Roushar just did a poor job of calling plays to get his WRs and TEs open and downfield.  However, WRs also need to be able to break free and find ways to get open, and often they just gave up on their routes. But, a coach should change his scheming based on what he knows of his teams' strengths and weaknesses.  The bowl game continued the frustrating reality that Roushar all season has had a tough time accepting the fact that this year's passing game is about 10% as effective as under Kirk Cousins.
10.    The MSU offensive line held up well on last drive, but did not play well in pass protection for most of the game.  As mentioned earlier, Maxwell’s issues were not all his fault; it is a team game… but Maxwell just is not talented enough to overcome other deficiencies and make plays when absolutely necessary.  Dantonio's call to put in Cook when it mattered most was a good move - yet another ballsy, risky move that paid off for MD in his Spartan tenure.
11.    The Spartan defensive line was stiff and mean, particularly in second half.  Remarkable how consistently terrific MSU defense was. Other than the first TD drive by TCU, the Frogs barely had room to run all day.
12.    Marcus Rush, Denicos Allen, Will Gholston played extremely well. Max Bullough played well.  This defense makes me want to cry for joy.
13.    TCU’s pair of deep throws that were successful were a result of Spartan safeties taking a risk going for the ball… and missing.  On the other hand, catching up from the miss and tackling the Frog receivers before they scored resulted in TCU settling for FGs instead of TDs.
14.    Sadler punted amazingly well for MSU.  If not for Bell, Sadler probably was the MVP for the Spartans because of his ability to flip the field – and the booming 55-yard punt that led to the late TCU turnover turned into a TD for MSU. 
15.    TCU gave MSU a gift with its muffed punt as a fumble deep in Spartan territory – the 2-0 difference in turnovers was the difference in the game
16.    ES predicted 17-14; ended up 17-16… pretty close.
17.   No need to say much about LeVeon Bell - just the best RB to come out of MSU since Lorenzo White.  He was nothing short of incredible all game, and particularly in the second half.   He accounted for 77% of MSU's offense (174 of 227 yards). 
18.    MSU held TCU to 69 total yards and three points in the second half.  Just total, complete domination.
19.    Shame to see such an amazing defense supported by such a terrible offense all year, and the B-Dubs bowl was the perfect example.
20.    What a great defense to watch all year – dominating, best since the Rose Bowl year of 1987-88.  Who is returning?  Graduating are Johnny Adams, Tyler Hoover, Anthony Rashad White, and Chris Norman.   But when you look at the depth… oh my, this has the makings of another outstanding group to lead the Big Ten in defense next year.
21.    Pat Narduzzi may land a job somewhere…. But what decent job is open?  Purdue would have been a great fit. But, let’s hope for Spartans’ sake he sticks around another year or three.
22.  Finally, let's compare the MSU drive chart for the first half and the TCU drive chart for the second half.  Remarkably terrible.

MSU      1st M28  15:00  Kickoff       M31  12:56  Punt           3-3    2:04
MSU      1st M20  11:52  Punt          M24  10:16  Punt           3-4    1:36
MSU      1st M25  05:45  Kickoff       M47  02:12  Punt           6-22   3:33
MSU      2nd M32  13:19  Kickoff       M48  11:13  Punt           5-16   2:06
MSU      2nd M12  08:09  Kickoff       M33  05:42  Punt           6-21   2:27
MSU      2nd M36  03:48  Interception  M41  02:20  Punt           3-5    1:28
MSU      2nd M47  01:19  Punt          T48  00:09  Punt           3-5    1:10
TCU      3rd T30  14:54  Kickoff       M49  12:07  Punt           5-21   2:47
TCU      3rd T35  08:42  Punt          T42  07:08  Punt           3-7    1:34
TCU      3rd T25  00:34  Kickoff       T34  14:04  Punt           3-9    1:30
TCU      4th T40  12:40  Punt          M39  10:26  Punt           4-21   2:14
TCU      4th T09  00:00  Punt          T04  07:13  Fumble         0--5   0:00
TCU      4th T30  06:53  Kickoff       T25  05:59  Punt           3--5   0:54
TCU      4th T36  04:26  Punt          M36  02:42 *FIELD GOAL     6-28   1:44
TCU      4th T30  00:55  Kickoff       T23  00:21  Downs          4--7   0:34

1 comment:

  1. Agree with those observations. Can't believe #2 - if I were anywhere close to the state of MI last night, I would have closed down that bar with you guys.