'He toughened that program up': Joel Klatt impressed with early work by MSU's Mel Tucker
Mel Tucker has won just one game as the Michigan State head coach and has coached in only two contests. But early in his tenure, Joel Klatt is impressed with what the first-year Spartans head coach has done in East Lansing.
Last week’s 27-24 upset win over Michigan had everyone talking, though most of the conversation circled around Harbaugh and whether or not he would be in Ann Arbor much longer. Not much credit was given to Tucker, who had his team ready to play a week after a devastating loss to Rutgers.
Klatt was impressed by the MSU win on the road last weekend, and gave a ton of credit to Tucker.
“He toughened that program up,” Klatt said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. “He immediately retained what they were under Dantonio, which is rise to the occasion against Michigan. In large part, Mark Dantonio built his reputation off the fact he beat Michigan. And now Mel Tucker did it in his first (opportunity). It wasn’t that close to be honest. Michigan State had a great plan. They attacked those corners. Rocky Lombardi the quarterback played well…Also, huge shout out to Antjuan Simmons, the linebacker for Michigan State. Did you know he played his high school football right across the street from the Big House at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor….kudos to Antjuan Simmons.”
Michigan State’s biggest issue in Week 1 against Rutgers was with ball security. The Spartans turned the football over 7 times (plus 2 turnover on downs) but still had opportunities to win the game. Against Michigan, MSU didn’t have a single turnover and looked much better on both sides of the football.
Now, the Spartans shift their attention to another big-time opponent — Iowa. While the Hawkeyes are off to an 0-2 start in 2020, it’s been a pillar of consistency in the B1G under Kirk Ferentz and presents and interesting challenge to Tucker and his team.
It should be an interesting matchup on both sides.