Michigan State football: Grading the Spartans after the loss to Michigan
Michigan State has had Michigan’s number for years, but that didn’t mean much Saturday. Michigan won 21-7 and the numbers this time were very ugly. Michigan State gained only 94 yards all day in the bitter defeat.
The loss dropped Michigan State’s record to 4-3 and 2-2 in the Big Ten. The Spartans also incurred several more critical injuries, which is going to make wins hard to find going forward.
Here’s what I liked — and what I didn’t like — about the Spartans’ loss to Michigan:
What I liked
(The “What I Liked” department has chosen to take the week off.)
What I didn’t like
The passing game was epically horrible
Brian Lewerke was just 5-for-25 passing for just 66 yards and he had a quarterback rating that you could count on one hand (3.3), which is never good. I’ll give him props for being one tough kid, because he has a shoulder injury and couldn’t even practice all week. But it was Michigan, so he had to give it a go Saturday. That might not have been a wise choice.
The running game was epically horrible
LJ Scott was back, and the Spartans were hoping that his return was going to give him a spark. But he gained only 25 yards on 10 carries. Factoring in the sacks, which I know is unfair but that’s college football, Michigan State had only 15 yards on the ground in 23 plays. That’s less than two feet per carry. Granted, Michigan’s defense is very good, ranked No. 1 in the country now it total defense, but it was sad that the Spartans literally had no answer for 60 minutes.
More injuries have decimated this team
The Spartans were already banged-up coming into the game, and it got even worse as it went on. The biggest hurt, no pun intended, was losing top wide receiver Felton Davis. With Cody White already out and no real depth that scares anyone, this injury really hurt the Spartans offense. Factor that in with Lewerke’s shoulder injury, and it’s a huge problem for this already-struggling offense going forward.
The weather stunk for mid-October
The lightning delay that lasted for nearly two hours in the first half seemed to suck a lot of the fun out of this rivalry game. It just wasn’t the same afterward, and that’s a shame for a big game like this. It’s Mother Nature, and it happens. Still stunk, though. I’m not at all saying the Spartans would have been any better on a warm and sunny day, but it didn’t help any, that’s for sure.
It doesn’t get any easier now
Next up for the injury-depleted Spartans is Purdue, who might be the Big Ten’s hottest team right now after upsetting No. 2 Ohio State Saturday night. That was a win that got penciled in at the beginning of the season for the Spartans, but it sure doesn’t look so likely now. This season, with all these injuries, has the potential to go sideways in a hurry now.