There are plenty of words you can use to summarize the first three weeks of the Mel Tucker at Michigan State. Inconsistent, frustrating, and sometimes ugly come to mind immediately.

Sure, Michigan State defeated Michigan, which appears to be the high point of the season, downing the Wolverines 27-24 in Ann Arbor during Week 2. But in the other two games, the Spartans have struggled mightily on both sides of the football.

But Urban Meyer says a job like the one Tucker inherited takes time to rebuild. He thinks patience is required in East Lansing after a bumpy start.

“I was shocked when they beat the Wolverines because I think that’s the hardest job this year in the Big Ten,” Meyer said Monday on Big Ten Network. “Mel Tucker comes in, he gets hired right before signing day, wasn’t able to really put his class together, no spring practice, interrupted minicamp, training camp and you’re trying to break in new players — more than just new players, new systems, offensively and defensively. So I thought this is going to be a rebuilding year and not the [old] Michigan State.

“… But there needs to be patience because he took over a really tough situation — and one that Mark Dantonio is my good friend and still is, but he took Michigan State to levels that it’s never been. You’re talking about when I first walked in the Big Ten, 2012 — that was a top-10 program, top-10 talent and they did as good a job as anybody recruiting the three-star, four-star guy and developing ’em into an NFL player. So coach Tucker’s got his hands full, be he’s going to — there needs to be plenty of patience there, because the program was slipping a little bit when he took over, too.”

Michigan State sits at 1-2 on the season, with losses to Rutgers and Iowa to accompany the win against Michigan. Last week’s performance was particularly ugly, falling 49-7 to the Hawkeyes.

The Spartans take on another big-time opponent this week, playing No. 10 Indiana, which is 3-0 on the year.