Spartan Nation Needs to Trust the Michigan State Football Staff as They "FIX" Wideout Issues

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There has been nothing but steady talk since the season started about the lack of play making and experience at wide receiver for Michigan State.  Message boards have debated and hammered this group for a number of weeks now and the MSU fan base is getting restless.Â

 

After a poor start under the light against Boise State, the wideouts appeared to start turning the corner when MSU played Central in a blowout win in Mount Pleasant. A week later, MSU receivers dropped the ball almost as much as they caught it and looked anemic against a good Notre Dame team. Eastern Michigan was less than a victory dance as MSU expanded the playing group to eight and failed to see any improvement or consistency.

 

This group is young. Even the veteran players are young. Junior WR Bennie Fowler was thought to be MSU’s go to receiver; he essentially missed last season with a foot injury.   Sophomore receiver / athlete Tony Lippett was playing defensive back last season and he currently sits atop the depth chart. Sophomore Keith Mumphery barely saw the field last season. AJ Sims is coming off a redshirt year. DeAnthony Arnett is kind of a mystery. He was playing in a different system a year ago and having success, but isn’t really stepping up. Jeremy Langford was supposed to be an option on the perimeter, but really hasn’t seen the field. This brings us to the freshmen (Aaron Burbridge, Macgarrett Kings)… a ton of talent, no experience, greener than their uniforms and still learning the playbook and the MSU system.

 

Throughout the rebuilding process, Spartan Nation has really stood behind the job this staff has done since they arrived. Understandably, the MSU fan base is concerned about the lack of consistency by our receivers. However, just a couple seasons ago, our fan base hammered Keyshawn Martin, BJ Cunningham and Mark Dell as ball after ball went through their hands and off their chest. We stuck behind them and I think everyone will agree with me that there was a great deal of success had by that group of receivers.

 

Fred Smith, Donald Spencer and Mitchell White would all be upperclassmen right now if they had panned out. Things happen. Kids are kids and things don’t always go according to plan. So we are just going to have to be patient while Coach Samuel and his pups grow up.

 

Dantonio was asked this week about his receivers. He had this to say about there development. “You go back to basics, fundamentals, talk to them about playing like they practice. Inevitably that will happen. Our guys had great practices last week. We don't drop balls in practice. We don't drop 'em. But you got to catch them on game day when the consequences are there.”

 

And consequences there are… plenty to go around, because the Buckeyes come to town this weekend and ESPN College Game Day is visiting and you can bet your last dollar that the MSU wideouts will be a hot topic of conversation for Desmond (I dropped the 2 point conversion) Howard, Kirk Herbstreit (former Buckeye QB), Lee Corso (former IU coach) and Chris Fowler. Michigan State needs its receivers to grow up fast and catch the ball or they will not beat a less than stellar Ohio State team.

 

Coach Dantonio spoke about his team’s struggles. “When they drop a ball, when we miss a tackle, when we miss a block, we don't throw the ball correctly, we do something wrong out there, drop a punt, I feel as much anguish as the guy dropping the punt or the guy missing the whatever. That's a direct reflection on us as coaches and everything else. We're feeling it. There's frustration there. But we just have to continue to have great chemistry here, which we do, not blame people internally, try to be understanding a little bit, work through the problems. I think if we work through the problems, they'll solve themselves.”

 

There is little doubt that this coaching staff really cares about their players. Some have suggested this team has chemistry issues and I can assure you that is not the case. This group is extremely close and will stick together win or lose. The Michigan State fan base needs to be patient as this team goes through its growing pains. Everyone needs to remember that this is a game of emotion… bad plays are contagious, but so are the good ones.