The Michigan State Spartans opened their 2013 season Friday night against the Western Michigan Broncos, and the team was looking to redeem their play from an awful 2012 campaign, which saw them go just 7-6 overall.
The Spartans managed to beat the Broncos 26-13 but did absolutely nothing to show improvement on the offensive side of the ball, where there was so much struggle in 2013.
What we did know is that the Spartan defense would be dominant, just like it was last season, and they didn’t disappoint. What we didn’t know was if Andrew Maxwell could improve, if the wide receivers could catch more consistently and if any players would establish themselves.
A couple of days after the game, it looks like we still won’t know the answers to those questions. The Spartans only totaled 297 yards of offense against a weak Western Michigan squad, and the quarterback play was as bad, if not worse than last season.
The wide receivers also struggled, dropping easy passes and not making any plays. The only bright side of the night was running back Jeremy Langford, who in his first game starting was able to run for 94 yards and a touchdown. He looked pretty comfortable carrying the ball and showed great vision as well as toughness running between the tackles.
For head coach Mark Dantonio and the staff, something has to change on offense for the Spartans to be effective in 2013. Andrew Maxwell has shown time and time again he is not the answer. Connor Cook struggled as well as the receivers who are in there. The staff needs to give everyone an equal shot, because the product that is on the field is atrocious.
The team showed last season that even if your defense is national championship quality, you still need production from the offense. The Spartans will get crushed by fellow Big Ten opponents if they play like the did against Western Michigan, and Dantonio needs to come up with answers quickly.