Welp, that went as well as Vegas expected.
The outcome wasn’t too surprising, but the journey there had some interesting moments. And, yes, there was some good to come out of that game too.
Let’s just dive right into it.
Brian Lewerke played just about as good of a game as you could ask. OK, yes, that miss on third down where Jefferson and White were automatic touchdowns wasn’t great. Every quarterback makes mistakes — that one just happened to be in a major spot.
Other than that though, he played a great game. Finding tight windows. Getting rid of the ball quick knowing that the defensive line was full of rabid talents that wouldn’t give him any time all night. Throwing the ball away instead of making stupid mistakes. All in all, Lewerke played better than anyone could realistically have asked for.
I thought the coaching staff, for the most part, put the team in position to be competitive. A good number of people on Twitter (a small number, but still way larger than it should have been) voiced major displeasure for Mark Dantonio and Co. during the game. I don’t think that game was on them, unless Dantonio called the “drop the ball our territory” play to start the game twice. The coaching staff was, for the most part*, fine all game.
*the wildcat and instructing players to punch the ball instead of tackle
This drive was a great answer after OSU’s first touchdown. Five plays, 75 yards and a lecture by Darrell Stewart.
.@MSU_Football is in the building.— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 6, 2019
Sparty is hype as Lewerke finds Stewart for the TD: pic.twitter.com/OraOpD3eWL
Why isn’t Jake Hartbarger on anyone’s Heisman radar? This is a crime.
It didn’t have to be like this. It would have been one thing for MSU to trail 27-10 at halftime if OSU was just the far superior team. It’s a completely different feeling when you know MSU could have very well been in that game, but they got in their own way. Again.
It wasn’t just a mistake or two – it was a myriad of first half mistakes that made the game over by halftime when it should have been close by the fourth quarter.
The fumble on the second play. The fumble on the fourth play. A drop on third down to kill a promising drive. Trying to punch out the football rather than just tackle and live for another down. Missing not one, but two easy touchdowns on the same play on third down. Dropping an interception that later led to a field goal.
That was the game. Over by halftime – unless you think MSU could’ve scored three times while shutting OSU out. Spoiler alert: That wasn’t happening.
Am I saying MSU should have won this game? No. But could they have made it a lot closer and competitive into the second half and fourth quarter? Yeah, probably.
The offensive line wasn’t great, but what else can you expect? They’re banged up and playing against a line with at least three draft picks on the other side of the ball.
Kicking field goals is officially a roller coaster. Didn’t cost us the game and it wasn’t the problem, but now it’s officially a problem.
We live in a world where this isn’t pass interference.
Definitely not PI...no way. pic.twitter.com/jSEsJ3eymp— Adam Ruff (@AdamRuffPhoto) October 6, 2019
Not the reason MSU lost, but yikes.
Psych test any coach that thinks running the wildcat in 2019 is a good idea. Put any coach in a straightjacket that thinks running the wildcat on 2nd and long is a good idea.
MSU was on life support at this point but got one more breath of air after a Josiah Scott pick. They wasted that final exhale with a three-and-out that included an Elijah Collins two yard loss with a 2nd-and-8 wildcat run. The wildcat didn’t worked for MSU last year. Or the year before that. Or the year before that. How any coach can think that’s a smart play to run in 2019 and in that situation is beyond me.
So now here we see MSU at a crossroads — good enough to be competitive but too in their own way to be Big Ten title contenders. Does MSU have the talent and ability to beat Wisconsin and Penn State in its next two games? Sure.
Do they also make too many mistakes and have too many injuries (two things now engrained in this program) to win those? Sure.
So where do you stand for the next two games?
What will MSU do in its next two games?
This poll is closed
Beat Wisconsin, lose to Penn State
Lose to Wisconsin, beat Penn State
May you be graced with even half the calmness of this announcer who called a walk-off Hail Mary.
This announcer has no desire to move on to the next level. pic.twitter.com/zIUv5y91oz— Justin Rose (@JRoseWXYZ) October 6, 2019
Here’s some quick thoughts of other Big Ten games that you didn’t ask for...
- RIP to my “Iowa will reach the Big Ten Championship” prediction. I would rather have a broomstick with a helmet on it playing quarterback.
- RIP to my “The Big Ten West race will be fascinating to watch” take from August. Unless you consider watching dew collect on grass in the morning fascinating, this is a debacle.
- Minnesota wins again to give them wins over South Dakota State, Fresno State, Georgia Southern, Purdue and Illinois. Its next two games are against Nebraska at home and at Rutgers. I’m literally laughing right now. Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s has a harder schedule than that.
I’ve really got nothing else today gang, I apologize. Let’s have ourselves a weekend and look forward to another fun game day this weekend. GO GREEN!