News and Notes from Spartan Football Post WMU

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Keith Nichol's amazing TD catch set the stage for an amazing 2010 season.  Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.

Keith Nichol's amazing TD catch set the stage for an amazing 2010 season. Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.

 

 

o      I was impressed with the effort on Saturday. After watching the film multiple times, you constantly see guys flying around and playing aggressive.

o      In game one Greg Jones showed why NFL teams see him as a second rounder. I got a message from a friend who works for an NFL team in the AFC when he dropped what should have been an easy interception in the end zone. “That is why he is a good two” (A two being a second rounder). I sure am rooting for Greg to improve that. If he can he will move up into the first round.

o      Mark Dantonio liked that they “Started fast.”

o      MD on passing game: “Didn’t go as well as planned.” There were a lot of drops by guys that shouldn’t have been making them. Read: non-freshman.

o      Cousins was 13/22, but there were six balls that should have been caught and one (Nichol’s TD) that shouldn’t have been. All together he should have been 18/22 and yet again another great game by Kirk.

o      The Spartans stopped the run. I mean stonewalled it. They forced WMU to go to the air. WMU ran it 32 times, but passed an amazing 53. There are some fans that will NEVER get it. They demand a level of excellence that I know they can’t give in their personal life or jobs. WMU is a good team with very good talent. All in all, there were a couple mistakes, but when a team throws 53 times they are going to get some completions. 

o      Coach D was quick to point out some of the completions were also on the coverages called. For the first game and the fact that MSU shut down the Bronco rushing attack, I am satisfied. Those who have read Spartan Nation know that I have no problems or reservations calling the secondary or anyone out, but it isn’t fair here.

o      Aaron Bates, Dan Conroy and Alex Shackleton all were outstanding and amazing.

o      Another issue that fans aren’t thinking about was the halftime impact on the team of the Josh Rouse injury. One person in the locker room explained it this way. “There were some tears and it was really emotional.”

o      True freshman Niko Palazeti, according to Dantonio, will not lose his redshirt this year to step up and fill in for Rouse. Just remember his name. He is a star in the making.

o      Coach D plans on having Amp Campbell talk to Rouse when he is ready.

o      One thing that stuck out to me was the downfield blocking of the WRs. That was exceptional.

o      KMART worked hard on his reception skills this off season, and it is too early to call it a lost cause. Having said that, if he can only make plays when handed the ball he will really hurt his spot on the depth chart and the chances he gets.

o      The Big Ten opened the season 9 for 11.

o      LeVeon Bell is the freshman of the week in the Big Ten, co with Robert Bolden from PSU.

o      Bates is the best punter in the Big Ten and had a super day on Saturday.

o      Spartans on the National award watch lists…Greg Jones is on the Bednarik, Butkus, Walter Camp, Lombardi, and Nagurski. KMART is on the Hornung. Charlie Gantt and Brian Linthicum are both on the Mackey. Kirk Cousins is on the Manning list.

o      MSU is #1 in the Big Ten in rushing.

o      MSU is 4th in the Big Ten in scoring defense and rushing defense.

o      MSU is 2nd in total offense.

o      MSU is 6th in total defense.

o      MSU is 9th in pass defense, again I am not worried because they made WMU so one-dimensional.

o      11th in penalties. NOT ACCEPTABLE!

o      10th in time of possession. Not good.

o      Tied for 1st in red zone offense.

o      Another stat I don’t like is 10th in 3rd down conversion. 3 for 11. 27.3%

o      37 Spartans played on Saturday.  I wanted to see more of Andrew Maxwell.

I get tired of listening to people whine about the officiating. There were several poor calls that BENEFITED MSU on Saturday. At least three major calls.