The motto for the Central Michigan game should have been "Be Prepared." Central Michigan clearly was, Michigan State unfortunately was not.
Spartan fans must also be prepared. The endless insults, the ridicule and the laughter from our friends to the south is inevitable, and sadly, deserved. I am positive we will hear "Same Ole Spartans" numerous times this week. In fact, it has already started on message boards all over the Internet. Different names, same results.
With Notre Dame up next weekend, it looks like this season could very well be over before it even begins if Michigan State turns in another performance like the one witnessed today.
All preseason long we have been hearing about how the secondary was the strength of our very strong defense. Saturday Dan LeFevour absolutely torched an ill-prepared Spartan secondary for 328 yards. How many times in a game do you have to give a receiver an eight-yard cushion on third down and three?
Perhaps the Spartans were looking ahead to next weeks matchup against the Irish to realize that Mr. LeFevour is one of the top quarterbacks in the NCAA. Open field tackling against Chippewa ball carriers was absolutely atrocious.
Instead of wrapping up the ball carrier in the back field or after a catch is made, Michigan State defenders time and time again go for big hits for highlights and fall flat on their face while the ball carrier scampers for 4-5 more yards before finally being brought down.
Another week with dropped passes. Every week we hear how improved the young receivers are at controlling the ball when gaining possession.
Dropped balls will kill this team this year if players like Keshawn Martin drop catch able balls, in the end zone no less! Mark Dantonio needs to pick a starting quarterback, if only to establish a rhythm and cadence with the offense and receivers.
Penalties killed Michigan State, eight times for 81 yards were the flags thrown against Michigan State. On the 47-yard field goal attempt that was missed, the play was negated by a Spartan jumping offsides. Michigan State has begun shooting itself in the foot against teams it should easily beat. Penalties come from discipline and experience. For a program that touts both, one should expect fewer offsides and zero late-hits or personal fouls.
Finally, Michigan State needs to mentally rebound from the tough loss. In years past, our Green and White Warriors have imploded and fallen victim to the pitfalls that can come with success.
If Michigan State wants to be seriously considered as a program on the rise, overcoming adversity and playing up to your potential, rather than down to your opponent is crucial. As fans, we must be ready for the onslaught of words from our rivals.
The biggest game of the season is always the next one.
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