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Reacts Results: Fans showing cautious optimism

Michigan State fans are feeling something resembling confidence heading into Week 2

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Central Michigan at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Forget feeling confident in the 2023 Michigan State football team heading into Week 1, it was near impossible to even know what to expect at all. A new starting quarterback, new skill players and a defense that spent last year hanging on by a thread – at best.

After the first half against Central Michigan any answers that fans may have gathered were far from positive. Things looked pretty miserable at half, even with the three-point lead. But whatever Mel Tucker said to the team in the locker room worked some kind of magic because the MSU team in the second half could not have been more different.

While both halves were technically the same team, the first and second were so different it’s hard not to feel that one must be more representative of what this team really is. According to this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey, MSU fans are chosing to be optimistic on the matter.

The biggest change in the third and fourth quarter came on the offensive side of the ball. The field all of a sudden opened up for first-year starter Noah Kim, who led three touchdown drives in the third and fourth quarter to put the game away. He had so much success he finished the game with a baseball hat on, allowing backup Katin Houser to take the final snaps.

Kim hadn’t been named the official starter until game time, at least publicly. Tucker kept the quarterback decision close to the vest, but even when Kim started slow the head coach never switched signal callers.

Heading into Week 2, the pressure is even lower with Richmond as the opponent. If there is still a competition for the starting job, this would be a game to experiment. By the slimmest of majorities, State fans think Kim has done enough to earn the starting job permanently.

On the other side of the ball, fans are starting to see signs of life in a defensive secondary that has been nothing short of miserable for two seasons now. Maybe it’s wishcasting after success against a team with no desire to throw the ball, but any positive outcomes are welcome when it comes to the Spartans’ pass defense.

Another game’s worth of data points will hopefully give more clarity to what this MSU team can be. But the real tests won’t come for at least another week.

Coming off of missing a bowl game last year, however, all success should be celebrated. So here’s to a good weekend in East Lansing.

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