The defense today showed me something that keeps my head held high. Major steps today despite the loss, and on the road. Played about how I wanted and hoped considering the last 3 games.
Woolfolk (I think?) just needs to make that tackle in overtime. Sure Swanson probably would have made the field goal, but with college kickers, you never know.
I completely agree about woolfolk, as soon as he went high I started screaming at the T.V. to take him low. There were definitely mistakes today, but you can't deny they played better.
They really did pick their game up. The d caused a few turnovers, and could have caused more if the ball bounced our way today.
Much better D. Still not that good, but oh well. A lot more pressure today. Too bad every time we got pressure Cousins would step up and run for 15 yards.
was improved and gives me hope for the rest of the season.. HOWEVA, the tackling again was poor, key tacking errors by Williams, Woolfolk at game's end, and especially Mouton on three occasions contributed to the loss. And third down play was especially poor. Nonetheless, there was enough good to validate the OP.
MSU averages about 320 yards passing/game. They were held to 215.
MSU averages 117 yards rushing/game. They had 193 today thanks to Kirk Cousins getting 9 ypc on 8 attempts (72 yards).
Since the NDame game we've seen the offense sort of regress. There have been some big plays (mainly be Carlos Brown), which is cool, but the consistency and crisp execution has started to slide.
I thought they were still very bad, but better. They kept us in the game somehow but they still gave up over 400 yards and were on the field for 40 minutes.
I still say, playing 40+ minutes and only giving up 20 points - including a gift-wrapped FG because of the failed punt conversion - is a positive for the defense. It is not a strong unit, but it has shown an ability to hold teams to FGs when touchdowns would be killers. If the offense had not turned the ball over with Stonum and had dragged out a couple of 1st downs, then I think UM wins. The offense has been the weak link the past few weeks, not the D.
We've seen progress, but not in the tackle department. When this D has a explosive day, which they will, we'll be freaking out. Plan on us being underdogs that day.
It didn't matter if it was 3rd and 10, 3rd and 20, or 3rd and 30, WRs were open down the field to get the first down every time. The only time they stopped them was when MSU was trying to kill the clock. MSU could have put up many more points than they did in this game.
So M gets a chance to come back. Now come on, if they had a chance to score at will they would have. This game was the biggest of Dantonio's career, he would have dropped 60 on M if he could.
Once again, I heard Stevie Brown's name being called on a lot of big plays. He's really stepped it up this year, and it makes me really happy. Not just because he's improved as a player, but because it shows that players can improve with good coaching in the offseason, and because it also shows that the coaches aren't afraid to move players around to best utilize their strengths.
Not to be a downer, but the OP fails to analyze what he actually liked about the defense. Them having taken major steps and having played just about how you would have liked them play, just doesn't say much at all.
I'll give you one thing I like about our defense so far. They don't show major signs of getting tired even when they are on the field for 40 minutes. In other words, they are well conditioned. Other than that, I'm not so impressed by the defense so far. The drive of the first Sparty touchdown was terrible. The many long third down conversions they had throughout the game made our D look silly at times. The D did make some big plays, but they also got burned a whole lot.
At the end of the day, I was mostly disappointed with our offense today. They had two TDs at the end of the game, but their ouput before that was close to nothing. It sucks that this happened in a rivalry game, but oh well, this team is definitely still a work in progress.
417 yards, poor tackling, and wide open receivers are NOT improvements on defense. I call a spade a spade folks.
Most of what the defense accomplished was against a Dantonio going turtle.