Michigan State is definitely the favorite to win tomorrow against the 0-3 Eagles, and the Spartans definitely want to make a statement after their poor performance last week against Notre Dame.
“I wish we were playing tomorrow, I wish we were playing today,” said Dantonio in last Tuesday’s press conference. “That’s how we feel. That’s how you feel after what happened last Saturday. You want to just get on with it and get back on the game field. You want to try to right a wrong.”
The receivers dropped several passes, the offensive line took a beating, the defense gave up a couple big plays, Dan Conroy has missed a field goal each game this season, and Mark Dantonio got impatient and didn’t run the football.
“I felt like we needed to change the tempo in the third quarter there, which we did do it,” Dantonio said. “But really my main focus was on we needed to create one big play, one momentum changer just to swing everything in our favor because the score was 14 3.”
Not only should the Spartans win by a convincing amount tomorrow, but they need to clean up their mistakes if they want to win the Big Ten title this year.
The defense is not the problem, and Dan Conroy has made two 50-yard field goals, but it’s the offense that needs to execute better. We have seen Michigan State establish the running game this year if Dantonio sticks to the game plan, but what happens when Ohio State isn’t giving up anything on the ground on Sept. 29 at Spartan Stadium?
It is imperative that Michigan State executes in the passing game tomorrow. If the Spartans don’t find two or three receivers that can get open down the field, and that can bring the ball in, and that can finish the play, then it may very well be a long Big Ten season.
It is crucial that the offensive line can give Andrew Maxwell enough time in the pocket. It is even more important that Maxwell can develop some consistency and create some big plays through the air.
The most important thing that the Spartans need to do against Eastern is get Maxwell and a solid group of receivers in a good rhythm and bring that into the conference schedule.