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Fox Sports’ Joel Klatt: “It’s panic time for Michigan State”

Fox Sports' leading college football analyst thinks the Spartans are in trouble in the coming weeks...

Michigan State has lost back-to-back games by double-digits, including a 34-7 loss at home to Minnesota in which the Spartans were lucky to not be shutout on their own field.

To make matters worse, Michigan State’s struggles are getting noticed nationally. Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt, one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world of college football, recently voiced his concern for the Spartans’ poor start on his new podcast, The Joel Klatt Show.

“Panic time. Like, five-alarm fire panic time,” Klatt said of MSU. “34-7 to Minnesota. By the way, Minnesota could have scored at the end and it would have been 38-0. They kick a field goal, and then Michigan State scores their only touchdown in the last minute of the game. It’s panic time for Michigan State.”

Klatt then turned his attention to head coach Mel Tucker, questioning why Michigan State’s roster is in the state it’s in given the fact that this is Tucker’s third season in East Lansing.

“This is Year 3. This isn’t Year 1, this is Year 3,” Klatt said. “This is the year that it’s supposed to be a roster full of the guys that Mel Tucker recruited. This is supposed to be the roster that doesn’t need all the transfer infusion. This is supposed to be the roster that flips the culture.

“Mel Tucker is in his fourth year as a head coach. He’s 20-16 overall and he’s only had one winning season. So, we haven’t seen him have a winning season without Kenneth Walker, the Doak Walker Award winner last year.”

Michigan State’s defensive struggles have been well-documented and over-discussed, but Klatt shared his thought on the subject as well, and much of that criticism fell on the shoulders of the head coach as well.

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“Mel Tucker is supposed to be a defensive guy,” Klatt said. “This is where he cut his teeth. He was a defensive coordinator, he was a defensive backs coach. And yet last year, in Year 2, they were 110th in total defense. ‘Yeah, but it’s Year 2, Joel’. Okay, well now it’s Year 3. You’re supposed to have your guys in here and you’re supposed to be turning over the roster and they just gave up 500 yards in back-to-back games – Washington and now Minnesota. This ain’t good.”

Finally, Klatt looked ahead to Michigan State’s upcoming schedule, starting with this weekend’s road trip to College Park, Maryland.

“We’ve got some serious [trouble] rolling in for the Spartans,” Klatt said. “At Maryland – that’s a team that I think is actually pretty good, in particular with the way they played last week. Mike Locksley is doing some good things with them. Offensively, very good. And Michigan State can’t stop anybody.”

It only gets more difficult from there, as the Spartans will host Ohio State and Wisconsin, before going back on the road for the rivalry showdown with Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“Michigan State – it’s panic time, because you’re staring at 3-5 or 2-6 dead down the barrel,” Klatt said. “That next four, it ain’t easy. It ain’t easy at all.”

Joel Klatt's full segment on Michigan State can be viewed below.