Coming off of its worst season under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has a lot to figure out before the 2017 season starts. This week, Dantonio and three Spartans players head to Chicago for Big Ten Media Days and will need to start addressing some of those questions.
While they will almost certainly answer a lot of weird questions fans don’t actually care about, hopefully these seven major questions will get answered.
What will the quarterback depth chart look like?
Despite his limited in-game experience and injury last season, Brian Lewerke is expected to to earn the starting job. But after that, things get interesting. Damion Terry is a senior now, but hasn’t taken that next step. Messiah deWeaver is only a redshirt freshman, but could be given a shot at taking over should something happen to Lewerke.
How big of a work load will LJ Scott shoulder?
There is no question who the star of the Spartans offense is and where defenses will focus their attention. Running back LJ Scott is a stud, but if well over 50 percent of the offense is going through Scott, MSU will be in trouble.
Will anyone on the staff be coaching for their job?
As we’ve already discussed, Mark Dantonio’s job should be extremely safe. But under him, everything is open for debate. If the Spartans start the season flat, or drop to the bottom of the Big Ten again this year, which coaches will be put on the hot seat?
How will the offseason incidents be addressed?
The past offseason was easily the ugliest in Dantonio’s tenure, and became much bigger than just football. Dantonio will need to address the changes to both the roster and the program to prevent any future illegal and reprehensible conduct.
Who is MSU’s next dominant corner?
Dantonio’s time at Michigan State has been defined by strong defense, specifically in the secondary. But Darqueze Dennard and Trae Waynes are long gone and the 2016 secondary was picked apart. The 2017 secondary is young and inexperienced, who will step up?
How will MSU bounce back this time?
While 2016 was far and away Dantonio’s worst season, it’s not the first time he has struggled through a campaign. In both 2010 and 2013, the team rebounded with a young and dominant quarterback paired with a strong defense. Is any of that in place for 2017?
How will MSU compete with Michigan and Ohio State?
Michigan isn’t expected to be as successful as it was last year, but Ohio State is still that team in the Big Ten. Regardless of the overall season, much of MSU’s perceived success will come from how they fair against the Wolverines and Buckeyes. Can the Spartans figure out a way to make a splash in the biggest games this year?