Michigan State vs. Pittsburgh: A Wake-up Call

Kyle McMillenCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2007

IconThis week's game against the Pittsburgh Panthers was a definite wake-up call for all Spartan fans.

While the offense was consistent in the first two games of the season, it sputtered against a tougher Pittsburgh opponent.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer was strangely inaccurate on his throws, going 14 for 28 with 183 yards and no touchdowns.

The running game was a not-as-strong-as-it-should-be 144 total yards with only one touchdown. Led by Javon Ringer who had 92 yards on 20 carries and the only touchdown coming from the physical Jehuu Caulcrick who went for 71 yards on 21 carries.

The Spartans were also plagued by penalties, which killed some of the good Spartan drives that day.

The day was not all bad news for those who bleed green and white however, the defense continued to show their new identity as a resilient and disciplined defense. Our usually weak secondary came up with a defensive touchdown in the second quarter and also had another in the first quarter. The defense showed their building pride by holding the Panthers to a 0-12 third down efficiency.

The biggest weakness the Spartans showed on defense was when the Panthers implemented a two running back combo in the shotgun with the quarterback split out wide. Hopefully no other Big Ten team will pick up on this strategy which plagued the Spartans as the spread offense bothers the hated wolverines so.

Notre Dame showed no signs of improvement against Michigan, but we don't want a repeat of last years Michigan State-Notre Dame game though do we?