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The Good, The Bad, The Random in Michigan State’s 52-0 win over Akron

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s the most wonderful day of the week — Victory Monday!

A day that can’t be celebrated by Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Iowa or Nebraska fans, but one we can relish in as Michigan State worked Akron to the tune of a 52-0 blowout.

There was good, there was a little bit of “not good” and a few random tidbits as well. LET’S GO.


I’ve seen enough to call it — Jalen Berger and Jarek Broussard are the reincarnate of the Jehuu Caulcrick/Javon Ringer days. A little bit of lightning with Broussard, and a little bit of Thunder with Berger.

These are two guys that you feel great about when they’re lined up behind Payton Thorne for entirely different reasons. Berger has great vision and hits the hole with a purpose, whereas Broussard is that sneaky runner that makes defensive players look like they’re trying to capture a mouse that just snuck into their kitchen.

We could very well be witnessing a special season from Jacoby Windmon. Two games, 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles later, Windmon is the runaway leader in the clubhouse for the Kenneth Walker Memorial MSU Transfer of the Year Award. We haven’t seen a defensive player start a season this white-hot since Shilique Calhoun racking up touchdowns back in 2013. Windmon was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row.

And honestly, I feel bad for some of these offensive lineman. Like what on earth is this guy from Akron supposed to do here?

Kendell Brooks looked as good as you could’ve hoped in his first start in Xavier Henderson’s spot. MSU as a whole did a great job tackling on Saturday and limiting yards after contact, and Brooks was one of those dawgs that stuck his hits on his seven tackle afternoon. He also forced a fumble for the second consecutive week. Henderson is missed, no doubt, but Brooks gave all Spartans fans a brief sigh of relief that things are going to be as OK as we could hope in the meantime.

Cal Haladay almost single-handedly brought Akron’s third string quarterback out to the field after nuking their second-string guy with this hit.

Jack Stone’s kick brought a smile to my face so wide you would’ve thought I had a $5,000 prop bet on that field goal. In reality, it was just really nice to see a crisp kick sail through the upright a.) after his knuckler missed wide last weekend and b.) as MSU is gearing up for a game that could very well come down to kicks.

And speaking of kicks, shoutout to the gentleman who drilled the Buick Field Goal Challenge between the third and fourth quarter. People that attempt that kick fail to even roll the ball to the goal line, let alone pipe it through the uprights.


It’s funny to walk away from a 52-0 victory and say “ehh, could have been better.” But it’s not just jumpy, over-reactive fans that are sharing that sentiment — Mel Tucker said as much too, saying “stats don’t tell the whole story of this game.”

The issues? Quarterback DJ Irons was moving the Zips down the field at will before he exited the game in the second quarter. MSU was taking after last year and letting soft coverage give up eight-ish yards at a time. Thorne was inconsistent. And while you can get away with all of that against a pretty bad Akron team, you will not be able to do that this weekend and escape Seattle with a win against Washington.

Payton Thorne played far from his best game, and he’ll be the first to tell anyone that. In the postgame press conference, he didn’t shy away from what he thought of his two-interception, plenty-of-overthrows outing, using the word “unacceptable” to describe his day on Saturday.

What’s interesting — and maybe somewhat alarming — is that Thorne said he’s never had this issue of sailing balls high in the past. He said it could be footwork, it could be because he’s aiming the ball too much and not just “letting it rip,” but this is new territory for Thorne.

It goes without saying, but Thorne getting the ball to his weapons is crucial for this season’s success. He’s a smart player, has bounced back from tough outings before and is taking full responsibility for the struggles, but being able to get away with shaky outings ends in Seattle this weekend versus the Huskies.


As if the day couldn’t get worse for Akron, how about having to hear one of the best NBA trash talkers give it to you as well?

And if you’re an Akron player, what on earth could you possibly be saying? That basketball team you are barking at has scored the same amount of points on Saturday as you have.

Le’Veon Bell wasn’t just great at being patient and hitting the hole in the run game. He’s also patient and hitting people directly in the face when it comes to boxing.

And I simply cannot believe it, but there’s someone out there in the world that’s a bigger Kirk Cousins fan than I am. And that man just happens to be Michael Irvin.

Kirk came up six touchdowns short of that prediction, but the Vikings still got the decisive victory over the Green Bay Packers.

And I know this has nothing to do with Michigan State or even the Big Ten, but this is hilarious and must be shared.

And let’s end this article with shouting that Michigan State MIGHT ALSO BE A TENNIS SCHOOL? Congrats to Spartan Ozan Baris for taking home the U.S. Open Junior doubles title over the weekend!

Enjoy your week Spartan fans, AND GO GREEEEEN!