Michigan State had a close, heartbreaking loss to Ohio State and seem to be spiraling out of contention for the Big Ten title. The Spartans failed to impress on Saturday and it resulted in a drop from the rankings.
While Ohio State remains undefeated, the Spartans are scrambling to find an answer to their poor play.
How well did they play at each position Saturday?
Although Andrew Maxwell looked solid, his receivers didn’t help him out at all. Maxwell had one of his best performances of the season and passed for 269 yards and a touchdown while looking confident in the pocket.
Running Backs: C
Le’Veon Bell had his worst game of the season and his lowest carry total as well. He averaged just 2.6 yards per game and looked sluggish because of the lack of open holes on the offensive line.
The receivers all looked terrible throughout the game. Dropped passes, bad routes and lack of effort led to this minuscule grade. The only bright spot at receiver was sophomore Keith Mumphery, catching five passes for 79 yards and a spectacular touchdown with broken tackle after broken tackle.
Offensive Line: C-
The offensive line is battered and beaten. They lost their third starting lineman to an injury in Saturday’s loss. Center Travis Jackson went down with a broken leg and torn ACL, ending his season and hurting any hopes for strong chemistry on the line.
Defensive Line: B
William Gholston seemed non-existant throughout the game, recording just four tackles. The rest of the line put solid pressure on Braxton Miller and defensive end Marcus Rush was seemingly in every play.
Denicos Allen, Max Bullough and Chris Norman all held their own at the linebacker position. They each recorded a solid amount of tackles and made some great tackles for loss. Their blitz makes every offensive line cringe, but they could have done a little better at containing Miller.
Defensive Backs: B
Johnny Adams has yet to live up to the preseason hype that was bestowed upon him by experts everywhere. He was supposed to be one of the best in the conference at the cornerback position, but gave up the most crucial touchdown of the game, a 69 yard pass that put the Buckeyes up for good.
Special Teams: C-
Nick Hill looked solid returning punts and kicks as well. The punting team, however, allowed a blocked punt and the field goal unit almost allowed a blocked extra point and missed a field goal. Dan Conroy is not having the best season so far as the Spartans kicker.