Saturday, November 08, 2014

Thoughts halftime Ohio State, MSU

The Spartans' defense loves to crowd the line of scrimmage and get in the face of the opposing offense. Their safeties are only 10 yards from the line on most plays. Most college defenses are 15-to-20. There have been few teams the last two years remotely capable of burning MSU's defense by using the Spartans' aggressiveness against them. QB J.T. Barnett and the Buckeyes are tonight, though. Complaints? Not really. That was an outstanding first half of football. Very entertaining. But the Spartans better tackle better and drop back more into coverage or they will continue to get carved up. And they will hear strong criticism about how their vaunted defense is vastly overrated.
- Another NFL caliber throw by MSU QB Connor Cook came during the second quarter. With Adolphus Washington, a 6-4, 295-pound former 5-star recruit defensive tackle, who will likely play in the NFL himself, bearing down on him, Cook gunned a 14-yard strike to tight end Josiah Price. It was 2nd and 15 at the time. Cook snuck for a first-down on the next play. He also ran for a key first down on third and short later in the drive. Then he moved the pile near the goal line on another run. He was good the second half of last season, but Cook is even better this year. 
Jeremy Langford
- Jeremy Langford gets most of the ink among the Spartans' running backs, and deservedly so, but there isn't much dropoff, if any, when Delton Williams gets the ball. He is a solid and hard runner.
- The missed field goal by MSU inexcusable and a killer.
- One of the reasons Ohio State struggled last year in the Big Ten Championship Game vs. MSU is because their wide receivers struggled. That was particularly true of Devin Smith, who had a terrible game. The Spartans' secondary was very physical against him, and he didn't respond well. He looks like a completely different player tonight. And that big play by wide receiver Michael Thomas was not an aberration. He is a sophomore, who was redshirted last season, and has probably been the most improved player year-to-year in Ohio State's program. He is OSU's leading receiver, in fact.

My column. A frank look at what the second half of the season means for Stafford, Suh and even Megatron:

My column: MSU vs. Ohio State about Spartans writing a new course in history:


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