A lot has been said on twitter after this one. The hot take machine was in full effect and some scorched earth takes were hitting the mentions today but I wanted to take some time and give three reasonably measured takes from the MSU loss to OSU.
LJ Scott Fan Club Is Here To Stay
Listen, there are a lot of things Spartan fans are going to want to point out about this game. The two-point call (I will get to that later), the interceptions by O’Connor (I will get to that later too), but the highlight of the game and the thing that should get more attention is the play of LJ Scott today. Let’s take a look at what that bad, bad man was able to do today
Rushing: 19 carries for 160 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: 2 catches for 76 yards, 1 TD
LJ Scott was the Spartan offense on Saturday. He ran hard in the holes, showed incredible vision that not all out backs show (looking at you Holmes), and he was basically unstoppable when we needed him to be. The last TD drive for the Spartans was 8 straight runs and 8 straight positive gains for LJ, capped with a score. We dared one of the best defenses in the conference to stop him and then didn’t.
And in the world of Michelle Obama, when they went low...he went high.
He is going to be a beast next year and I am excited.
The Two-Point Play Was The Right Call
Listen, I know I might get tore up for this one but as we are marching down the field with LJ on that drive I said out loud “we are going to go for two”. I had a feeling Dantonio was thinking it too. In this kind of a game, the way your defense is playing and the way LJ was running the ball, going for 2 and getting up 1 point is giving your team the best chance to win. If that is completed, then you have a defense that has been shutting down Barrett the whole game and a running back that is going to consistently get you first downs and burn the clock to win. You have all the momentum of a crazy Spartan Stadium behind you and your team is fired up. You ALWAYS go for two in that spot. The odds of being able to win an OT duel with the way the offense has been playing all year is not feasible.
The issue that you have is with the execution. The play call was brilliant and if O’Connor looks inside sooner he hits a wide open Lyles for the two-point play. Unfortunately, Lyles was the 4th read on the play and by the time Tyler got through his progression, the defense covered it up and he was picked off. The call was right, the execution was not. That leads to the last point
Our QBs Are Not What We Need Them To Be
Once again, we are looking around and talking about the QB play from MSU. I think that this really boils down to two things:
- We were all spoiled with Connor Cook
- Our healthy QBs are bad under pressure
How many times last year do you remember Cook with hands in his face, making a tight through on the sidelines to Burbridge? I can’t even count how many times I remember seeing number 18 make that tough throw across the middle when we needed it most. That is something Michigan State fans are used to seeing and came to expect over the last 3 years. Now, we are shocked when it is completed. This is a time to get a taste of reality. Tyler O’Connor is not “the worst player I have ever seen”, he is not “an embarrassment who shouldn’t even dress next week”. He is an average QB that can’t handle pressure in his face.
Terry isn’t much better. He missed a few throws today that he just plain needs to complete. A deep pass over the middle to Madaris was off, a throw on the sidelines to Price went rouge. These are things you can’t do if you want to play against Ohio State. Next year we are undoubtedly going to be in the same place of a QB battle between Terry, Lewerke, and deWeaver. I just pray that one of those dudes is able to handle the pressure. Because with weapons like Scott, Jackson and Corley you should always have a man open.