Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spartans have a game everyone expected

So many things went wrong. This was just like the ND game, without all the Cousins completions. You can't spin 187 total yards into a good thing. This was Iowa of last year. And everyone saw it coming.

Most blame goes on OC Dan Roushar. It seemed like MSU had found a good flow on offense since South Bend, but MSU reverted back to all sorts of whack. They ran the ball up the middle with Bell well early, then went to Baker wide and Cousins throws. Didn't get that. Also, every pass had to be a bomb, one of which came when fullback Todd Anderson was out wide.

Cousins was atrocious, going 11-for-27 passing with one pick, but his guys weren't open most of the time, and that led to four Nebraska sacks. The Cornhuskers had three in Big Ten play coming into the day. The Spartans came into the day last in the Big Ten in rushing offense and will stay there. Nebraska came into the game ninth in the Big Ten in rushing defense. They'll move up.

I first noticed it against Michigan two weeks ago, but it's like Steve Mariucci is calling some of these plays. Time after time, Cousins threw short of the endzone or first-down marker on third down. And this is because so many receivers are running routes that are designed to go short.

Also, the wildcat. Stop it.

MSU D was strong, but hurt themselves. The personal foul on Darqueze Dennard in the third quarter was a killer, and led to the back-breaking TD for Nebraska. MSU came into the game allowing 222 yards per game, and only gave up 261 to Nebraska, but a team total 9 penalties killed. I counted at least twice MSU jumped offsides on third-and-less-than-five. Again, killer. I don't understand the penalties. The zero-penalty game against Wisconsin is sandwiched between games of 13 and 9.

Team health could be an issue. Travis Jackson and Larry Caper are two players off the top of my head who left the game. Other guys who seemed to get banged up at some point include: B.J. Cunningham. Dennard, Jerel Worthy, Trenton Robinson and more.

Looking ahead. 3-1 in this October is very good. There's going to be a four-way three-way (wtf Iowa) tie atop the Legends division with these two teams, Michigan and Iowa. MSU has the easiest schedule of the four. The game at Iowa in two weeks could determine if MSU heads to Indy or not. For now, they'll have to regroup and (hopefully) have an easy time with Minnesota at home next week.

1 comment:

  1. Any Idea why Roushar and Cousins keep laying these clunkers on the road? This starting to become a pattern three road games against OSU, ND, and Nebraska we have scored a combined 26 points. Very Very concerning since we are going to need to win at Iowa.