The Michigan State Spartans fell to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday in East Lansing by a final score of 49-20. MSU’s losing streak now stretches to four games, and the Spartans have also fallen to 0-3 in Big Ten Conference play for the first time under Mel Tucker.
“I’m obviously very disappointed in the outcome of the game,” Tucker said as he opened the press conference. “Obviously, I’m not really happy right now.”
Tucker was asked about any potential drastic changes we might see during the regular season, either to personnel or to the coaching staff, as the losing streak continues for a fourth week.
“I’m not looking to make any changes from a coaching staff standpoint at all,” Tucker said. “Any changes we make scheme-wise or personnel, we’ll have to evaluate the tape.”
An important note about that quote that some people seem to be confused about on social media: Tucker did not say that coaching changes won’t come this offseason, but it certainly sounds like they will not come during the regular season at the very least.
The Spartans allowed 614 yards of total offense to the Buckeyes, marking the fourth-straight week the Spartans have allowed at least 450 yards of offense to their opponent, and the third time this season Michigan State has allowed 500 or more yards.
Michigan State has had some horrible injury luck this season to combine with their production woes on defense. Linebacker Darius Snow is out for the season after the injury he suffered in the season-opening win against Western Michigan. Safety Xavier Henderson is out after he also suffered an injury against Western Michigan, although he and defensive tackle Jacob Slade (who has also been dealing with an injury the last few weeks) did dress for the game against the Buckeyes despite not playing.
There are many other players currently dealing with injuries who missed Saturday’s game, including defensive ends Jeff Pietrowski and Khris Bogle, cornerback Marqui Lowery and several others.
The injury woes continued Saturday, with freshman safety Jaden Mangham being carted off the field after colliding with Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson in the first half. Mel Tucker, along with the players available after Saturday’s game, all expressed their gratitude that Mangham was able to return to the sideline during the second half.
“There’s more to football than just the game,” Michigan State center Nick Samac said. “You hate to see that stuff.”
Defensive end/linebacker Jacoby Windmon said “It’s a blessing he’s all right. He came back on the sideline at the end of the game and showed everyone he’s doing OK.
“It’s one of those heart-stoppers because you never know how that situation could have turned out,” Windmon added. He also said it gave him extra motivation to play harder. That’s something some other players mentioned as well.
In the midst of the longest losing streak of Mel Tucker’s time at Michigan State, the players mentioned that it’s important to stay focused and find ways they can improve through the film of the last few weeks.
“It’s very frustrating,” Windmon said. “But at the end of the day you’ve got to block out the noise and focus on what’s next.
“You’ve got to look at the good stuff on tape and build from that, and learn from the bad stuff and go from there,” Windmon added.
Michigan State will now turn its focus to the Wisconsin Badgers as the Spartans try to avoid a five-game losing streak. The Badgers are coming off a 42-7 victory against Northwestern that snapped a two-game skid of their own.