Tough Times in East Lansing

What's the worst part about the MSU football team right now?  You should scream "the offensive line!"  The stable of Baker, Bell, and Caper should be tearing through teams like Youngstown State and Florida Atlantic.  They should have even rushed for more than a combined 53 yards against Notre Dame.  In order for Edwin Baker to get to his preseason goal of 2,000 yards he must average 203.7 yards per game for the rest of the season.  That will be tough since he only has 167 COMBINED through the first three games.

Why has the rushing been so down?  Because the offensive line can't move anybody out of the way.  It's really tough to gain yards when you have somebody making you move side to side before you get the ball and then never having a hole to run through.  The Spartans longest run of the game against Notre Dame was 8 yards.  So much for my prediction of Baker busting a 50 yarder.  I would have settled for 50 yards total with how bad things were going.

And things got worse.  When starting right tackle Skyler Burkland went down everyone could tell that it was a serious injury.  Getting carted off the field is never a good thing even if you are sitting up in it.  He's done for the year.  To go along with that injury starting center Blake Treadwell is currently on crutches wearing a bulky leg/knee brace on his left leg for an MCL sprain.  Hopefully he's back for Ohio State.  I'm doubtful.  Luckily Travis Jackson was the listed starter through most of the preseason...but he got hurt.  He will slide in and start at center.  Fou Fonoti will start at right tackle which will be not great, but OK.  He's gotten lots of time there in the early part of the season.  Jared McGaha also suffered an MCL injury so he won't be available for depth.  Micajah Reynolds who has never stuck at a position is now moving back to offensive line from defensive line (after moving from offensive line previously) and is listed behind Dan France as 2nd at left tackle.

Try to feel confident now.  I tried optimism last week and I got burned.  Now I'm back to being the salty, pessimistic old man that I am.  The Spartans, my Spartans will be lucky to get 7 wins this season.  More accurately, they will be lucky to only lose 4 more games.  At the beginning of the season I did say I thought they would go 8-4 so this doesn't actually feel like much of a drop.  It feels worse because of the beat down against FAU.  MSU football has a tendency to get your hopes up before crushing them once Big Ten play starts.  This year is going to be no different.

Let's hope Dan Enos and his Chips don't have anything special planned for his old team.  We desperately need to win that game and right the ship before the four game stretch that follows it.  We start Big Ten season @OSU, vs Michigan, vs Wisconsin, and @ Nebraska.  I'm looking at 4 losses there with how this team is playing.  I assume Al Borges and Brady Hoke will use Denard Robinson better than Rich Rod did last year.  OSU, WIS, and NEB all have more talent, size, and experience (maybe not OSU on the last one).  Ideally those games would be near the end of the season or maybe not on the schedule at all.  Definitely not back to back to back to back.

It's early and the Big Ten has not looked great so far.  It's tough to get a read on other teams until they start playing each other.  I just wish I got to see what OSU was really like against a different team than us.  They are in the same boat as us in needing to come together.  Right now it doesn't look like our offensive line is anywhere close to doing that.  It's a shame that they are the most important part to the success of the team.

So fellow Spartans, hold on to your hats.  This is going to be another bumpy season.  Hopefully there will be some ups to match the downs that I am sure will happen.  Mark Dantonio is a good coach.  He will make sure it doesn't go too far south.  That is if he doesn't every call for another damn fake field goal!

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