A Win is a Win, Right?

I said that nothing good can come from playing a 1-AA (FCS BS) school and I was right.  All MSU got from the game was a disgusting wake-up call that not only does the offensive line need a lot of work, but the supposed strength of the team, the D Line couldn't beat kids who can't sniff the Big 10.  And all I got from that stupid game was a nice case of the flu or something that knocked me out for a few days.

I'm mostly recovered from the game.  Hopefully the Spartans can bounce back as soon as I can.  I thought guys like Jerel Worthy and Tyler Hoover were physically superior to me, but after Friday night I'm not sure about their chances.  Maybe one of the reasons I felt so bad was because I went back and watched the game a second time on my DVR.  The D Line was worse than I remember from the stands.  Yes, it was hot.  But unless those Penguins were magic, they had to deal with the same heat we did.  And they didn't have the luxury of being able to rotate in 3 guys at every position who could play...nay, who we thought could play before the game started.

The offense didn't inspire any confidence or ease any stress when after YSU held the ball for what seemed to be the entire first half they came out and went a quick 3 and out.  Great start.  Then Keshawn Martin decided to catch a punt with his shoulder pads.  Terry Love can tell you that's not a good idea.  I feel I'm missing one other thing from the first half.  Oh yeah.  False start.  False start.  False start.  And just when you're making any progress, another one for good measure.

I give credit to YSU.  They obviously watched how Central Michigan beat embarrassed us before and tried to match that game plan.  If only they had utilized the bubble screen to the slot where Chris Norman was "covering" they would have dominated all night.  That is the most frustrating defense to see us play.  We did not go into a full nickle but instead put Norman out to "cover" the slot thus eliminating him from the game.  And it wasn't until Denicos Allen put things together in the 2nd half that the linebackers did anything.

Now you're going to yell "BUT MAX BULLOUGH HAD 15 TACKLES."  Yup, he did.  He was great at cleaning up tackles that should have been made well before he got there.  I don't mean that as a slight to him, but as a slight to every other player who missed numerous tackles.  Think of how many times you saw the DBs coming up and making tackles.  Now think of why there were making tackles...because everybody else already missed.  Hell, the defensive line never had a shot because they were being dominated the whole first half.  I guarantee national commentators (looking right at you, Herbie) will only look at the stats and see his blocked field goal and talk him up before the next game.

-Side note.  I was watching the Oregon-LSU game Saturday night painfully listening to Herbie do color.  He said "Peterson has had a football game tonight."  The worst part is that he got paid to utter that brilliant breakdown.  That's almost as bad as saying he's a real football player.  Your job is to paint me a picture and instead you took a dump on a color by numbers.

There were some good things from the game to take away.  But first one more bad.  I know that Kirk Cousins told BJ Cunningham that he would break the record for all-time catches int he first game, but that doesn't mean he had to force the ball to him every time he dropped back.  It was obvious he was only going to throw to him.

The good things: The right side of the offensive line blocked very well in the run game.  The combo of Burkland with Linthicum and FB Todd Anderson was devastating on more than one play.  The running backs all ran very well.  Let's get some controversy going.  I think Larry Caper has quietly stalked his prey and is now ready for the kill to take more responsibility than just 3rd down.  And Le'Veon Bell is a monster truck.

The secondary was good except for the captain, Trenton Robinson, in pass coverage.  Johnny Adams had the pick.  The only thing that I can think of is that on the play that got overturned, the 2nd man to touch the ball may have been out of bounds.  Isaiah Lewis can blow people up along with Dennard.  Johnny was solid, but not quite "shut-down corner" solid yet.

I've been pondering one thing since the game though and that is why Skyler Burkland isn't moved to left tackle?  It is obviously a deficiency.  McGaha is not the answer ever.  The team even admitted that putting Fou Fonoti along with Dan France as co-starter on the depth chart.  Burkland looked good to me, he's young (a RS Fr), so why not toss him over there to have an eventual 4 year starter at the most important position on the line?  Maybe he can't turn left.

Overall I can't take too much good away from that game since it was against Youngstown State.  You know what their conference foe, Butler, was doing this weekend?  They played Division 3 Albion.  Imagine if MSU had played Albion.  It's essentially the same.  Please, Mark Hollis, no more cupcakes!

But hey, a win is a win.  Bring on the Rose Bowl.

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