clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Spartan Reacts: Where does blame fall for Michigan State’s defensive failure?

After Saturday’s ugly loss to Washington, let us know who you think is to blame and what can be done.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year, we ask questions of the most plugged-in Michigan State Spartans fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.

Saturday’s Michigan State game against Washington couldn’t have gone much worse. The Spartans quickly found themselves behind double-digits and never made it much of a contest, losing by a final score of 39-28. Now it’s time to figure out what exactly can be done going forward.

The most glaring issues came on the defensive side of the ball — specifically the secondary. Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was able to do just about anything he wanted, finding success with almost every passing play. Pass-catchers were left so open it felt like Washington was practicing out there, and taking advantage on Michigan State’s failures.

But when exactly did those failures happen? In this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey, we are asking MSU fans where they put the majority of the blame for the defensive failures. Was it a coaching and schematic failure? A complete failure by the players on the field? Or was it that neither the coaches nor players fully prepared when the game kicked off?

More importantly for the future of this year’s Michigan State team, is this a fixable problem?

A quick glance at the boxscore may make fans think the blame is entirely on the defense. Quarterback Payton Thorne had struggled in the first two games of the year, but put up three touchdowns and 323 yards while completing 30-42 passes. Two of those touchdowns, though, came late in the fourth quarter. And because of the early deficit, and lack of a push from the offensive line, there wasn’t much of a running game to speak of. But was that offensive performance satisfactory?

With the start of a difficult Big Ten schedule looming, the non-conference loss hurts Michigan State’s resume. But did this first loss of the season change your expectations for what this Spartans team could be in 2022?

Get your vote in now and expect to see results later this week.