Three recommendations to correct the Spartan passing game... before it's too late The Enlightened Spartan: Three recommendations to correct the Spartan passing game... before it's too late

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Three recommendations to correct the Spartan passing game... before it's too late

Bennie Fowler just can't catch
So, the ES was saying in jest earlier this week, "shoot we only scored 3 against Notre Dame.  How can we be favored by 32 against Eastern?" 

Umm, truer words were never said.  Michigan State limped out of Spartan Stadium with yet another pathetic receiving display in a 23-7 victory over lowly Eastern Michigan.  If you want to call THAT CRAP we saw on Saturday "receiving."  This MSU team doesn't deserve to be considered top 25 at this point.

Spartans dropped another dozen passes, seven of which we counted in the first half.  Folks, this ain't the Fighting Irish we were playing.  It was the Fighting Eagles.  It got to the point where we fans were pleading not to even throw the ball anymore, because we knew it would be futile.  The boo-birds were deafening at half time.  The receivers have no confidence.  None.

Spartan receivers Tony Lippett and Bennie Fowler should be benched.  Period.  Even Nick Hill dropped a punt and was replaced by LeVeon Bell (now, that was a stupid idea, putting our best offensive weapon at risk in the return game).  So, here are three recommendations for Dantonio if the Spartans are to have a chance the rest of the year.
  1. Run a goal line offense the entire game.  Get rid of the receivers, bring in a few extra lineman and tight ends for blocking, and just have Andrew Maxwell hand the ball off to LeVeon Bell.  It will be a messy, ugly rugby scrum of a game, but we'll move the ball.
  2. Switch the offense to a wishbone.  Connor Cook has more mobility, and use him as an option quarterback with the Spartans pitching and running the ball on every down, with a very, very,  infrequent, occasional pass to Dion Sims (the only guy on offense who CAN catch, with 6-112 and a TD vs Eastern).   
  3. OK, BACK TO REALITY.  Let's have our DBs play double-duty.  Pull Lippett and Fowler, and replace them with Isaiah Lewis, Johnny Adams, or Darquize Dennard.  Seriously, this is a viable option and at least we know our DBs can catch. 
Something has got to be done. The stark reality, and the enormity of the problem with the receivers has hit the coaches.  Dantonio said, ""You have to catch the ball. Throwing and catching. If there's nothing wrong with the route and the ball is there you have to catch it."  Offensive Coordinator Dan Roushar said, "I don't know if it was seven or eight drops in the first half, but that's not going to help us win any games around here...  There is a lack of execution and maybe a lack of confidence."  And, from the man himself, who dropped passes and fumbled, WR Bennie Fowler: "Maxwell is getting the ball out there we just have to continue finishing the play. If we finish those plays then we will get the results we want."

I don't care if you are playing pee-wee football, badminton, kayaking, or playing college football - teams are supposed to get better as the season progresses.  Said Roushar: "“I don’t think we made any progress at all."  

Yeah, umm, time to bench Fowler and Lippett.  Maybe they can watch and learn.  The Spartan offense just can't afford it otherwise.

On the positive side, the Spartan defense played fantastic once again, holding EMU to just 183 yards of total offense, and 46 on the ground.  Indeed, Eastern's best play, a beautiful 23 yard touchdown pass on an acrobatic catch, was something Spartan receivers should play on their DVR over and over again to watch how to catch a football.  Although EMU was leading 7-6 at half, that was their last gasp.

LeVeon Bell ran for 253 yards on 36 carries, and ran around, through, and over EMU all day.  At least we know what we need to do on offense the rest of the year if we are to even have a chance in the Big Ten. 


  1. ES finally getting these comment areas up and running. What do you think about fixing the receiving corps?

  2. The passing game FINALLY picked up when Thomas lined up as the fullback. After running Bell behind Thomas a few times, Sims started getting open and making catches. Run this backfield!