What Was That?
â€œOkay, what was that?â€ That was the question a lot of puzzled Spartans were asking after the beat down at the hands of Ohio State. It wasnâ€™t pretty and the Spartans were â€˜killedâ€™ for lack of a better term in all phases of the game. Iâ€™m not sure what it was, but I can tell you what it means. Coach Dantonio needs to get this turned around because the very direction of the program is going to be determined over the next four games. Is he a championship type coach or was he riding the coat tails of Jim Tressel? He has tremendous character and is building the same in his players, and yet, John L. Smith got to the Spartans to at least be competitive in big games, although they would collapse at the end.
This game also hurt MSU. The chances for a Big Ten Title are probably gone, and Ringers chance for a Heisman Trophy was bounced out of the stadium faster than you can say,
â€œBeanie Wellsâ€ or perhaps even â€œPryor.â€ Plus, there were several recruits looking at this game and there wasnâ€™t anything redeeming for them to get excited about. Shoot, even the fans couldnâ€™t agree on a â€œgreen out.â€ It was not a good day to be a Spartan. So anyway, here are some thoughts regarding todayâ€¦.
The Spartans were dominated on both sides of the ball and itâ€™s pretty obvious they need
to get some impact players over there, where a converted TE, linebacker, and a undersized DE were getting handled quite easily. I openly wondered in fall camp if replacing Jonal St Dic and Ervin Baldwin was possible, and that is a resounding â€œnoâ€ so far in my opinion. What really bothered me is that the Spartans were over pursing and the Bucks were getting big yardage on back cuts. MSU needed to play assignment football and it did not happen. It you are getting beat at the point of attack and you are not playing your assignments, you are going to look bad, and MSU looked very bad. Poor angles to the QB did not help either, especially by some experienced DEâ€™s. They were simply out coached here.
Offensively, MSU did not have a chance the way they played. OSU was bringing back side pressure and Hoyer was leveled several times. The running game was nill and outside of the spark from Kirk Cousins, there wasnâ€™t much to cheer for. Hoyer didnâ€™t have a chance, and QBâ€™s seldom win or lose games by themselves. The second string QB is always the most popular guy on a team, and Cousins did well when the score was lopsided, but after the first TD pass, he too was nailed from behind and coughed up the ball that was taken in the other direction for six points. The Spartans were soundly thrashed in
all phases of the game.
Had Cousins started the game he probably would have gotten his butt kicked as well. Yet, some who feel Cousins wasnâ€™t a good quarterback before this game surprises me. The one thing Hoyer must do however, is calm down and not get over excited. I think it is a blessing and a curse that the Spartans have so many kids from Ohio. They get so jacked up that they canâ€™t focus. To start Cousins on the road at UM however is asking for trouble.
Â Â Â Speaking of which, MSU definitely had the deer in the headlights look. Although they said they werenâ€™t going to be intimidated, they were. It was like they were waiting to see the punches the Bucks were going to throw and see what Buck team was going to show up. Once it was determined the Bucks were determined to play a good game, the Spartans caved like a house of cards on a weak foundation. In big games, you cannot beat yourself and that is what the guys in green did.
Â Â There is only one way to put the taste of this game behind MSU, and that is to beat their hated Wolverines rivals and win at least three of the next four games. Dantonio has to convince people he is not another just above .500 record coach and the only way he can do that is on the field. Youth has nothing to do with it. Ohio State started a true freshman at QB and at center, two of the most important positions on the field. So no more excusesâ€¦.Spartan fans arenâ€™t going to buy it.