Mustering up some bullet points: CMU-MSU initial reactions

Box score is here.

  • Central had 10 more first downs than we did (27-17).  We were lucky to even be in a position to try to avoid defeat in the final seconds.
  • Number of turnovers created by the MSU defense in two games: One.  And that turnover (the interception LeFevour threw today) was a function of a defensive back being 5 yards behind his man and having the ball underthrown.
  • For as good as Dan LeFevour was today (33-46, 328 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT), he could have put up even bigger numbers with more accurate throws on short passes.  The Spartan defense didn't let him beat us with his legs (10 rushes for 25 yards, 3 sacks for a loss of 15 yards) but they had no answers for the CMU passing game.
  • What happened to the secondary being able to, you know, tackle?  Are Brian Anderson (6 catches for 120 yards) and Antonio Brown (10 catches for 71 yards and a TD) that good?  Shades of the JLS era.
  • Speaking of which: 8 penalties for 81 yards.
  • Number of fumbles forced by the MSU defense in two games: Zero.
  • Greg Jones is on pace to make 174 tackles this season.  That may not be entirely a good thing.
  • Total running back stats today: 25 carries for 89 yards.  3.6 yards per carry.
  • Kirk Cousins' career passing numbers through today's game: 55-78 for 657 yards, 70.5% comp%, 8.4 yards/att, 6-1 TD-INT ratio.  Name him the starter this week.  (How's that for reversing blogging course in less than two weeks?)
  • Keith Nichol wasn't great today.  But he also didn't cost us the game.  He showed good poise on the scoring drive that put us ahead in the second quarter.  And things might have gone differently had B.J. Cunningham been able to get underneath the long pass Nichol threw to him on the final drive of the first half.  Nichol will be a major factor in this team's fortunes at some point over the next 3 years.
  • The passing game works.  The running game does not.  I'll have to look at the first down numbers tomorrow, but I think Mark Dantonio and Don Treadwell _have_ to open up the offense going forward.
  • Where would we be without Blair White?  (Although he was very, very fortunate to recover his fumble on the punt return.)
  • LVS and I were sitting directly in line with the onside kick (viewing it from behind).*  I can't imagine there's ever been a better onside kick attempted in the history of football.  The thing was hugging the ground so closely you couldn't see it among the players and then . . bam, it popped straight up.
  • What's the story on the offsides call on the first FG attempt?  I don't have the gumption to pull up the DVR recording and watch it.
  • This kind of puts a damper on, you know, the entire remainder of the season.  Hard to find a lot of high-confidence-level wins in the remaining 10 games at this point.

*LVS and I have vowed never to attend another football game together again.

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