I'm stuck in SEC country....thank goodness for B10 channel and ESPN3.
I was surprised when I looked at MSU's stats for the year and saw only three fumbles lost and four interceptions. While watching the games it has felt like a lot more. When I looked at the timing of the turnovers, it became very clear why some fans have been upset at Cousins while coaches and Cousins both keep saying he is playing very effectively.
I think coaches are seeing that he is racking up passing yards and has a good passer efficiency. Therefore he is moving the offense and keeping the offense on the field.
To state the obvious -- I think it is not the number of turnovers but timing of turnovers that has really hurt. Just a brief overview of all of MSU's turnovers so far this year. Keshawn Martin fumbled a punt return against Youngstown State on the YSU 41. This turnover hurt, but is the exception this year. It is exceptional because Cousins committed the other 6 turnovers.
Of the 7 turnovers committed by MSU this year (including Martin's - not including fake field goal at ND that turned ball over on downs), all were lost in enemy territory. Meaning we had good field position every time the ball was lost. 2 of the 7 turnovers were inside the opposing team's 7 yard line (OSU interception and ND interception). 4 of the other turnovers (including Martin's) were close enough that they should have resulted in a score...but obviously did not. Taken together this means that of our 7 turnovers, only 1 turnover happened when MSU was not on a drive that looked like it would result in a score (that one turnover was a third and 10 interception by Central Michigan on the CM 47).
My thought is the reason that fans are so upset about Cousins this year is not that he is turning the ball over too much (4 interceptions is about average for the Big 10), he is really just turning it over when the team is in very good scoring positions. This is killing both scoring opportunites and my feeble heart. I hope the offense can clean this up and turn these scoring opportunity turnovers into scores.