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.
Simply looking at a box score may give someone the opinion that Michigan State dominated in the Spartans’ opening week win over Western Michigan. A 22-point win featuring four passing touchdowns to four different receivers (Payton Thorne), a 120-yard rushing performance (Jalen Berger) and a four-sack game from a transfer (Jacoby Windmon) — what’s not to like?
But watching closer, it’s understandable if fans aren’t completely chugging the Kool-Aid right now.
Maybe that’s a result of raised expectations. Or it could be the result of plenty of new faces in key roles. But there is room for growth heading into Week Two of the season.
Quarterback Payton Thorne may have had the most turbulent performance. On one hand, it’s impossible to downplay those stats. Four passing touchdowns matches his career-high, but he completed only 50 percent of his passes and threw an interception.
The defense saw similarly split results. Despite losing Darius Snow for the season due to injury, and with the reality that Xavier Henderson could also miss a significant amount of time with an injury of his own, there was a breakout star. Jacoby Windmon recorded seven tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble in his first game with the Spartans.
There was obviously more good than bad — the wide receivers and running backs were outstanding. The linebacker group looks deep. But fans should have high expectations this season. Michigan State will have another tune-up opportunity before the schedule gets harder. The Spartans are again big favorites, this time nearly five-touchdown favorites over Akron. So assuming the victory is coming, how it happens matters.
In this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey, we are asking fans what they thought of last week’s game. Also, what is the biggest area of concern and biggest strength moving forward? Finally, and most importantly to some, will MSU cover the spread this weekend?