The Spartans start off the Big 10 season with a narrow win over a Purdue team that hung in the game and was in a postion to win. Once again for the second week in a row, MSU lost key personnel due to injury. This time Dennis Finley, the left tackle who was starting in place of Jack Conklin, went out with a broken leg. This prompted a shuffling of the offensive line. Center Jack Allen moved to left tackle and Brian Allen moving from left guard to center. There is plenty of versatility on the O-line, but continuity is a must. The Spartans still churned out close to 300 yards rushing. Defensively, R.J. Williamson was lost for what looks like the remainder of the regular season with a torn bicep injury. He joins Davis and Copeland as starters on the defense lost for the year. The depth on this team will surely be tested as the season continues.
The thing that concerns me the most is the passing game should be more productive that what is being shown so far. It seems to me that the play calling gets real conservative late in games when the Spartans are trying to close games out. The third down play called on the Spartan’s drive prior to their defensive stand was terrible. Why not go down the field with a pass instead of a swing pass to the back to pick up 2 yards. That swing pass had no chance at all! If your fifth-year senior QB cannot complete a two-yard pass to keep a drive going, there is a problem. However, the defense made a stand to seal the game, so a win is a win as in the eternal words of Al Davis: “just win, baby” In my book, this game was too close for comfort. Up 21-0, it should have been a cake walk.
The schedule will get a lot tougher in the weeks to come. The next game is at Rutgers and this should be an easy win, but the following week is the Michigan game in Ann Arbor. The question is “are the Spartans playing down to their competition”? or “are they overrated”? We will see!!!