Michigan State football: What to make of loss vs. Rutgers

To say the least, Michigan State football did bad. I mean really bad, nothing like I was expecting the Spartans to do. The offense looked sloppy, and the defense looked as if it was its first time getting physical ever. Michigan Started started out with weak play and that is exactly how it ended. The biggest question from this game is, with all that time away from football, what exactly was the team going over and practicing? Rutgers definitely looked liked it had a game plan and took advantage of the time off.

I am going to start off with the Spartan offense. Rocky Lombardi was the guy head coach Mel Tucker decided to go with as the leader of this Spartan offense. Lombardi did not start off very hot in the first half. He lost a fumble and threw an interception, and both turned into touchdowns for Rutgers. The third quarter was the only true glimpse of hope as the Spartans looked like they finally figured out what they were doing. Then the fourth quarter came around and the Spartans’ passion sputtered away, although Lombardi threw one last garbage time touchdown to give him three on the day. My biggest offensive complaints are turnovers and penalties. The Spartans did not look like they knew what they were doing out there.

Enough talk of the bad side of the offense, as one good thing to take away from this game was true freshman running back Jordan Simmons. Simmons was one of the only players on this offense who looked like they knew what they were doing. Besides a fumble in the second half, he had a great game. He ran tough and made the Rutgers defense take him down, he meant business when he had the ball in his hands. I am looking forward to watching him the rest of the season. Another glimpse of hope for this offense was sophomore wide out Jayden Reed. Besides two forced fumbles, he too had a good game that included 11 receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Hopefully the coaches make him run some ball protection drills before our game next week against Michigan.

The defense had both good and bad drives all games. One drive it would look in sync and physical, while another drive you might question if it even knew how to tackle at all. Although Rutgers scored 21 points off of offensive mistakes, some of the other touchdowns Rutgers had could have been prevented by the defensive being on the same page. To put it short and sweet, it looked tough, but it looked confused. Easy tackles were missed by players just wanting to push and shove and receivers were left open due to broken coverage.

Do not get me wrong, Rutgers played an excellent game, but if the Spartans were a little better prepared it would not have been such an ugly game. It seems like the Spartans went in thinking this would be an easy W, so they prepared poorly and ended up getting smacked around like a rag doll. Hopefully this game was a wake up call to the coaching staff and it turns this confused team into something better by next week. If Michigan State football plays like it did on Saturday, Michigan is going to walk over the Spartans like a stepping stone.

Photo by Kelly Carmack/The Daily Targum

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