What is up with Michigan State football?

Michigan State football lost 24-0 on Saturday to the Indiana Hoosiers and it was a sloppy game for the offense. Some may say it was a better game than the week before against Iowa, but two games in a row and the Spartans have only accumulated seven points. If that does not say something is wrong I don’t know what does. It is one thing to lose games by a field goal or even a touchdown, but the Spartans now have a combined total of 73 points scored against them in just two games.

Now you could say 73 points is a defensive issue, but quite a few of the 73 points have come from offensive turnovers. Last game against Indiana, the Spartan defense didn’t give up a single point in the second half of the game. This proves Michigan State’s defense can stop even one of the best offenses in the Big Ten. So why can’t it get things rolling on the offensive side of the ball?

Passing game struggles

I’ll start with one of the most obvious reasons the Spartans are struggling on offense - the quarterback position. The Spartans do not have a leader on the offensive side of the ball yet. It seemed perhaps Rocky Lombardi was the answer after the game he had against Michigan. Then we saw his abysmal performance against Iowa and finally, the coaches took him out against Indiana after a slow start. He was replaced with Peyton Throne in this game who did okay, but nothing special came from a change in QB for the Spartans.

The offense starts at the quarterback position. If you cannot find any hope there, then usually your entire offense struggles. The Spartans might have to start looking to get Throne more reps and add Theo Day into the equation because Lombardi and his golden locks are not the answer for this offense.

Running game struggles

The quarterback position is not the only problem though as nothing good is coming out of the run game either. You would think a team with a struggling quarterback position would be trying to work out some big plays with the running backs, but the best rushing game the Spartans have had so far is Justin Simmons against Michigan with 14 carries and 55 yards. Seriously, the most rushing yards a Spartans running back has had is 55. That is pathetic.

I partially blame the running backs themselves, but I would also blame the offensive play calling. It seems like they choose the run when they shouldn’t or to keep running it until the only option is to pass. It seems the run play-calling consists of only runs up the middle, or at this point, the very predictable jet sweep. The play calling is lackluster and needs to be rethought and fixed, otherwise their season will continue on this downward spiral.

Is Jay Johnson the problem? Is it the entire offensive coaching staff? Is the players? I believe it is a mix of everything and if things do not get fixed soon, the Mel Tucker and gang era will not last very long in East Lansing. Hopefully, with the next two games against Maryland and Northwestern, the Spartans can iron out some of these offensive kinks because after that, Michigan State football will be facing the Goliath of Ohio State and not much will be figured out during that game.

I can’t wait for basketball season at this point.

Photo courtesy of IUHoosiers.com

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