MSU Wrap-up Two Days Late

Some photos...

The rest of my photos can be seen here.

So yeah, that was fun. I meant to get a wrap up post done after the game, but then a whole lot of things happened in all the wrong order...and thus here I am on Monday afternoon, doing a wrap-up post for a game that took place two days ago. What can I say, life happens.

And for all you Sparty fans out there who wondered if I had crawled into a hole since the loss, that's not true. I'm a Michigan blogger win or lose. Hence, here we are.

Again, here's a link to the slideshow of my photos from the game.

It should be noted that I haven't watched one second of this game other than what I saw from the press box on Saturday. I haven't seen a replay, highlights...nothing. After the game I sat in my car for 2 hours trying to get out of AA. Sunday was filled with family time and traveling. And today and tomorrow I'm at an all-day conference in Mt. Pleasant. So this is truly right off the top of my head. My apologies.

A few good things stood out to me on Saturday...

• Firstly, I think our defense played a little better than I thought they would. Aside from some pretty bad linebacker play, looking at you Obi, I think we did enough to give our offense a chance to win the game. Losing James Rogers in the 2nd half really hurt our already slim defensive backfield. Rogers looked the best he's looked all year before his whole body turned into one huge cramp.

We got some pressure on the QB. See, good things can happen when you rush more than 3 guys!  Our defense looked more like a 4-3 rather than a modified 3-3-5.

• Secondly, our receivers were open, and Denard was putting the ball right where it needed to be. Michigan State was able to lock down the run pretty well, so the passing game was our only chance to make some headway. And aside from two very bad decisions in the redzone by Denard, and some very bad catching ability by pretty much everyone, the chances were there. Take away those two INTs, turn a couple of those drops into catches, and you've got yourself a ball game.

• We made a field goal! We also got one blocked, which was a huge momentum swing. But had that one not been blocked, it might have gone in.

• Will Hagerup showed off his leg this week. He had a couple line-drive punts that went for 50-60+ yards...which is exactly what you want.

And then the bad...and there was a lot of bad.

• Tackling all-around was very poor. The linebackers need to be switched up. Obi Ezeh is clearly not getting it. Jonas Mouton looked alright, making plays here and there. But the biggest weakness in the linebacker corps is clearly in the middle, where Ezeh lives.

• The defensive backfield was picked apart pretty bad, but not as bad as against Indiana. Cousins is not as good as Chappell, and we got a lot more pressure on Cousins. That said, MSU still balanced the run and pass well enough to make us hurt.

• Denard and the receivers had a rough day. This was definitely the worst Denard has looked all year. Why? Couple reasons, mainly Michigan State's defense stepped up and made Denard make bad passes/decisions. And also because I think Denard just tried too hard to make plays, especially in the redzone. He just simply saw something that wasn't there.

• The O-line seemed to be having trouble with the MSU front at times. They got into the backfield pretty well and really disrupted our timing all-around.

Clearly, there are a lot of things we can point to and say we need to do better. I think we can do better against Iowa, if we look back at this game footage and learn from those teachable moments. I'll try and address more issues later this week as we look forward to Iowa. Until then, updates from this blog will be few and far between until I get up and running on Wednesday morning. Thanks for the understanding.

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