Spartan Defense Outscores Its Offense in Ugly Win over Western The Enlightened Spartan: Spartan Defense Outscores Its Offense in Ugly Win over Western

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Spartan Defense Outscores Its Offense in Ugly Win over Western

OK, Michigan State beat Western Michigan, 26-13 (box score), in the season opener... but, OMG that was ugly.  The gods almost gave us salvation from the Spartan offense.  When the lightning storm came and the heavens opened up, and the game delayed (first game delay in MSU history)... the ES was sitting there in the upper deck thinking... can we just end this game at 7-0?  Do we have to witness any more of this agony we call the Michigan State "passing game"?

I don't know if we should 1) shoot any and all MSU wide receivers; 2) install a wishbone offense; or 3) let the defense play on offense.  Maybe all of the above. 

Keith Mumphery dropped a touchdown pass.  Hit him right in the hands. On third down. We kicked a FG instead.

Bennie Fowler dropped a post pattern on a beautifully thrown ball by Andrew Maxwell.  Hit him right in the hands.  On third down. We punted.

And on.  And on.

Connor Cook proved little better than Maxwell in relief.  He ran the ball well (4 carries, 35 yards), his best asset.  But, on a beautifully executed play action roll out with our TE wide open downfield, Cook sailed it over his head.  Incomplete. On third down.  We punted.

MSU finished the day 5-of-19 (26.3%) on third downs.  As a result, punter Mike Sadler got a workout:  11 punts, six downed inside the 20.  26.3% against Western Michigan. 

And, as the ES predicted, our defense scored more TDs than our offense; a beautiful interception from Jairus Jones and pitch to Kurtis Drummond moved MSU to a 7-0 lead; the defense ended MSU scoring for the day with a beautiful hard hit by Marcus Rush knocking the ball loose for Shilique Calhoun to pick up and take to paydirt in what completed an eventual 26-13 victory. 

The Good:  Defense. 2 TDs, 4 turnovers, 5 sacks, 8 QB hurries, 11 passes knocked down... and giving up just 11 rushing yards to WMU.  For the Broncos, 56 of their 204 total yards came on their final possession of the game against MSU's backups.  Max Bullough had 9 total tackles, 2.5 for loss.  Marcus Rush, Denicos Allen, and Taiwan Jones were in the Bronco backfield for much of the game. 

The Bad: Michigan State had 181 yards rushing on 42 carries; it was ugly looking for much of the game, but Jeremy Langford (20 carries, 94 yds) did look better as the game wore on.  Unfortunately, the long run on 18 yards pales in comparison to the havoc caused by Le'Veon  Bell last year... this looks to be serviceable at best this season.

The Ugly: The passing game was, well, awful.  A combined 17-of-37 (46%) for 116 yards.  The ES lost count of the number of drops, other than identifying that every Spartan receiver dropped a pass. Said Dantonio after the game, "We've got to catch the football. (Dropped passes) aren't something we've seen in summer camp, so it can be straightened out. As we move through it, we can't make mistakes and beat ourself. The thing you worry about in the first game are unforced errors, and we had them."

Bottom line:  It is going to be a LONG YEAR on offense.   The ES sees no improvement in the passing game... and, without Le'Veon Bell running the ball:  this offense is actually a step down from last year's 108th ranked scoring offense, and 95th ranked total offense.  As the ES told Sloth during the game: watching that offense was like watching paint dry.  It was boring and underwhelming.

Against WMU, Michigan State proved what we already knew: the Spartans have the BEST defense in the country.  Unfortunately, the Spartans also have the WORST offense in the country.

Now that's ugly.  At least we're 1-0.  Photos below:

At kickoff, with hope

After the storm, stadium emptied sick of the rain and the Spartan offense

Lineup for eventual dropped TD pass by Mumphery

1 comment:

  1. This team is NOT ready to compete in the Big Ten conference.