MSU RU FIRST DOWNS................... 22 15 NET YARDS RUSHING............. 132 141 Rushing Attempts............ 38 32 Average Per Rush............ 3.5 4.4 NET YARDS PASSING............. 357 208 Completions-Attempts-Int.... 23-38-1 15-26-0 TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS........... 489 349 Total offense plays......... 76 58 Average Gain Per Play....... 6.4 6.0 Penalties: Number-Yards....... 1-5 3-20 Average Yards Per Punt........ 24.7 34.4 Third-Down Conversions........ 11 of 17 3 of 12 Fourth-Down Conversions....... 1 of 1 2 of 3 Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 3-28 1-6
Sunday, October 11, 2015
The #12 scUM football team is favored by a TD (6-1/2) over the #7 Big Green as we invade the Godforsaken garbage of Ann Arbor this weekend... and ESPN Game Day wants to pile it on to preview this matchup. It's a 3:30 kick.
Five things we learned about MSU at Rutgers (the ES went to New Jersey for the game):
1. Injuries continue to mount. Dear God, the ES has never seen a team with so many injuries - particularly on the offensive line and defensive backfield. On the OL, seeing Jack Allen getting carted off the field was devastating... as we've seen losses to Jack Conklin, Kodi Keiler, and Josiah Price. Madre London hurt his ankle and left the game, but MSU burned the redshirt off Delton Williams with a few carries, and LJ Scott (9-42, 4.7 ypc) ran his tail off again behind a banged up line. We saw Connor Cook get knocked around more than in any game since he's started for MSU... but...
2. Cook (23-38 for 357) played well again AFTER his bad interception that he telegraphed to the Rutgers defense late in the first half. While he never should have thrown it, in typical Cook fashion he came back in the second half, and on the last drive of the game, made some very, very solid throws in tough situations. Cook's fave target, Aaron Burbridge (9-146), played amazing except for the easy drop as he walked into the end zone early in the game. The ES hung out with Connor's dad before and after the game and complimented Connor's play for the most part, despite the few brain farts.
3. Michigan State's secondary is in trouble. We've lost Copeland and Williamson for the season, and both are certainly not of the caliber of Dennard and Waynes. So, relying on Colquon and Edmonson at corners is questionable, but the depth is gone. The ES sez: if your leading tacklers are DBs, you are in trouble - against Rutgers, Cox and Nicholson led with 8 & 5. Tisk, tisk. There is a guy who the ES met with CHock before the season started - Josh Butler - and he was an impressive young man who may now have his redshirt burned because his talent is so highly valued by Coach D and we are banged up. But, this is a raw place to throw in raw talent... Why????
4. We need a better DL play, including a more consistent pass rush. The Spartans aren't pushing enough up front. Three sacks for 28 yards, and another three QB hurries just aren't enough and not typical of this Spartan Green D. Malik McDowell is a beast - he ran over the Rutgers C late in the game but RU called time-out right before the play. Lawrence Thomas had a sack but also is hit or miss throughout the game. Shalique Calhoun (1/2 sack, 2 QB hurries) played well... but not dominating. What's going on? This area is NOT injured and needs to play better, especially this week vs Michigan to give the secondary a chance.
5. Special teams suck. This is the worst special teams of the Dantonio era. At High Points Stadium, the Spartan faithful were concerned of MSU "Geigering It." Never heard such negative vibes on our special teams. One FG blocked, the other hit the right upright and Praise God went through for a trey. These ain't long kicks - 35, 30 yards. Big Green had a 11-yard shank punt. Terrible. Just lack of execution and focus. We do this, we lose.
BUT WE WIN GAMES. Of all the injuries, etc, we keep winning. Look at the third down conversions: MSU 11 of 17, Rutgers 3 of 12. It says quite a bit of the resilience and ability to finish. This ain't the John L Smith era. Look at some of the key stats below... interesting.