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The Good, The Bad, The Random in Michigan State’s Friday night win over Northwestern

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Let’s look back on the beginning of the weekend

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Northwestern Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to another season of The Good, The Bad, The Random.

The concept is simple — we go through all things good, bad and random from the weekend of college football and the Michigan State Spartans.

Let’s get right into it.

THE GOOD

Kenneth Walker III is the truth. I saw it. You saw it. The Northwestern Wildcats saw it. And, luckily, the MSU coaching staff saw it when he dove into the transfer portal. The second ever Spartan to rush for at least 250 yards and score four touchdowns, joining Eric Allen who tuned up Purdue in 1971.

I don’t think it’s too crazy to say he’s got some Le’Veon Bell in his game with his patience, vision and ability to just burst for that big play. What a tone setter to the game — and the season.

Also, have to give major props to Connor Heyward. I mean just look at the sealing on this play.

And his first down in the second Spartan drive was massive. Third-down-and-seven, he catches the ball and looks to have no where to go...EXCEPT RIGHT THROUGH THE WILDCATS. He gets the first down, MSU scores and goes up 14-0 and the comfortability is set right there and then.

The quarterback battle is settled, and it’s the redshirt sophomore Payton Thorne winning the job. I am actually surprised, but I’m happy with it. This means he beat out a bigger, more experienced player than him with a big arm that the staff recruited out of the portal.

I don’t think this was a position battle where the coaches are picking between two poor players and settling with their choice. I firmly believe this was a battle between two solid players, and I think the biggest reason Thorne won the battle is this: He seems like he doesn’t take an abundance of risks, and that was proven on Friday. His diciest throws all came on third down, and even those were smart and not forced directly into traffic.

Tre Mosley played mighty fine and certainly has plenty of fans feeling swell about that No. 3 receiver position that Ricky White’s absence leaves a hole in. Or, apparently, not a hole at all.

The defense, overall, was more than solid. Yes I get it — Hunter Johnson and company isn’t necessarily the craziest offense to be put up against. But for a unit that has a fair share of new faces on it (especially in the linebacker corps) I think the defense had the game we were all hoping for. A few big plays given up throughout the game, and a lot of “bend but don’t break” action going on until the fourth quarter, but by then the game was comfortably put away.

THE BAD

The Walter Camp Award did a great job at making its Player of the Week Award illegitimate in the first week. Kenneth Walker has a historical performance, and they give their first Offensive Player of the Week Award to...Texas running back Bijan Robinson and his 176 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against Louisiana. That wasn’t even a high for games played in the state of Texas over the weekend.

The Walter Camp committee probably turned two games on their office television over the weekend — the Texas game and probably Clemson versus Georgia. Once they saw Clemson-Georgia unravel into a snoozer, they just threw up their hands and said “Ah, I don’t know, give it to that Texas kid we watched for five minutes earlier.” You can’t convince me otherwise.

The decision to kick the 60-yard field goal before halftime was bizarre. Like, I get it if it was going to be close, but the kick wasn’t even in the same zip code as the uprights. And this is NOT a knock on Matt Coghlin — I’m not sitting here expecting a college kid to drill a 60-yarder. Just...maybe throw a Hail Mary next time. I am really reaching here to complain about something but, hey, I need to fill in “The Bad” section somehow.

THE RANDOM

I do feel for Anthony Russo, no doubt about it. The kid comes here after being recruited by the staff to hopefully boost his NFL Draft stock and get on the league’s radar. And then suddenly...“WELP, I will not be playing starting quarterback this year.” By all accounts he seems like a nice kid. But that’s business, baby.

Brutal, brutal weekend right off the bat for “Indinia.” Misspelled jerseys (at least for one player) and the Hoosiers were destroyed by the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Oh and here’s one more crazy stat about Kenneth Walker. Just in case you needed another reason to feel sky-high about the kid.

MASSIVE return home for our Spartans for the first time in two years this Saturday. What are you most excited for if you’re going to East Lansing?

Poll

What’s got you the most excited for Saturday?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Morning drinking, baby
    (121 votes)
  • 13%
    The marching band
    (70 votes)
  • 58%
    Just being back at the stadium
    (300 votes)
  • 5%
    Other (comment!)
    (26 votes)
517 votes total Vote Now