Michigan State(3-1) had a close call against Eastern Michigan today, beating the Eagles 23-7 in East Lansing. Although they did win by a two-score margin, the Spartans looked shaky throughout.
The defense looked solid as always, but it was the offense and special teams that caused the Spartan faithful to pray for a victory.
Andrew Maxwell had just five yards passing in the entire first quarter and received the bulk of boos. The first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie and left Spartan fans baffled.
Michigan State looked confused, unprepared and, at times, overwhelmed. Should the Spartans be worried about the offense’s poor play through the majority of four games to start the season? The answer: yes.
The only positive for the offense today? Le’Veon Bell. Bell had 36 rushes for 253 yards and one touchdown. He has jumped back into the Heisman consideration with the strong performance and carried the team to victory.
The final score was very deceiving, taking their first lead late in the third quarter and scoring on just field goals to take the lead 9-7. They went on to score twice more on a touchdown pass by Maxwell and a short touchdown run by Bell. Needless to say, the Spartans underachieved.
The biggest problem for this team could be the receiving corps. Many times the passes were right on the money and the wide outs thought about running before catching the ball and the result was a drop. This was frustrating for Maxwell because he would have a solid drive going and a drop would end the momentum swing.
The Spartans didn’t get into the red zone until the second half of the game, seemingly tormenting the fans and coach Mark Dantonio.
The receivers are the problem right now and this issue needs to be addressed by Dantonio. If the Spartans want to be successful moving forward into Big Ten play, they will need to be better at running routes and judging the ball better. The best receiver?
The tight end: Dion Sims.
The big man caught six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Should the Spartans be worried right now even after a win? Yes.
Do they have the potential to be a Rose Bowl team? Yes.
Will they do it?
Their fate lies in the palm of their hands. If they want to avoid another disappointing end to the season, they need to stop talking and let their play do the rest. As of right now, Michigan State is not on the right track, and this could be the wake up call they needed to jump start the season.