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Instant Reactions: No. 8 Michigan State @ Indiana

Eighth-ranked Michigan State scores 42 answered points to turn away Indiana, 56-17

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After three 11-win seasons in the last four years, I ask this question as a proud Michigan State alumnus.

Are we getting too greedy?

On the surface, Saturday's 56-17 dismantling of Indiana, which was highlighted by the offense piling 662 yards of total offense in the midst of scoring 42 unanswered points to turn a 17-14 deficit into a 56-17 rout, looks like business as usual.

But, to me, there's still an issue that continues to creep up and if it isn't addressed, the Spartans may certainly pay for it later on.

The defense's propensity to be absolutely gashed in the running game at times has been a recurring problem throughout the year and Saturday was no different as Indiana's Tevin Coleman, the nation's leading rusher, had 132 of the Hoosiers' 213 rushing yards, an output aided by a 75-yard TD run from Shane Wynn that brought Indiana to within 14-10 early in the second quarter.

While I'm not jumping off the ledge regarding the defense, I know that, in three weeks' time, errors and miscommunications like that might not be so forgiving.

The 2014 Michigan State defense isn't the 2013 Michigan State defense. I think we can all agree on that. It doesn't have to be, though.

All I can continue to do is hope that the cohesiveness and rhythm of the defense will get better as the calendar turns from October to November.

Offensively, Jeremy Langford and Tony Lippett continue to do their thing, evidenced by Langford's 109 yards and three TDs and Lippett's 123 receiving yards on seven catches.

Nick Hill even came to the fore by leading Michigan State with 178 rushing yards and a score, but it's the quarterback that continues to wear some of my most pointed criticism.

Some people like to rail on Connor Cook for what he isn't at times, myself included.

But the fact remains that he threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns against Indiana while also adding in one of his patented bonehead interceptions in for good measure.

Cook's ability to lead the offense on seven scoring drives of at least 68 yards is pretty impressive and deserves credit. The other scoring drive went 55 yards, so not too shabby either.

He just needs to not get lazy with his footwork, as he tends to do at times. We all know he has talent. Just wish he gain a little bit consistency, which leads me back to my original question.

Are we getting too greedy?

I certainly hope not because we all would have killed to have three 11-win seasons in a four-year span while also having a great shot at repeating as Big Ten champions.

Saturday marked Mark Dantonio's 100th game as Michigan State's head coach, a tenure that has seen him go 70-30. These are different times indeed from the ones those of us who were on campus during the Bobby Williams and John L. Smith fiascos can attest to.

I just hope that we don't get too complacent as a fan base and remember where Dantonio has taken the program from where it was when he inherited it, a tenure that was initiated somewhat by a 46-21 loss at Indiana on Oct. 28, 2006 under Smith.

Bring on Michigan!!