Michigan State Football: Big Winners from Spartans' Win vs Central Michigan
Michigan State bounced back from last week's loss to Notre Dame in a big way. The Spartans absolutely dominated Central Michigan this weekend. The overmatched Chippewas never had a chance against their in-state big brother.
Michigan State showed its flaws in the 31-13 loss to Notre Dame. The offensive line, always an area of concern in East Lansing, showed its inexperience. The offensive game plan lacked balance and the Spartans could not score in the red zone.
None of those flaws were on display this week.
The Spartans were the clear winner from the opening kickoff. Michigan State's superior speed and size allowed them to dominant the Chippewas.
There is plenty for Sparty to feel good about this week as they prepare for Ohio State. Read on to see the biggest winner from this Saturday's 45-7 blowout victory for Michigan State.
A crowd of over 72,000 witnessed this weekend's blowout. Watching your team win in a blowout is always a fun time for fans.
This was also the last chance for those without season tickets to take advantage of the early season schedule. Tickets will be much harder to come by as Big Ten play starts. For many, this weekend's game was their last chance to watch the Spartans live and in person.
One of the best things about playing a blowout game is that it gives backups a chance to shine. Andrew Maxwell played very well in extended game action on Saturday.
The redshirt sophomore threw his first career touchdown pass and completed seven of eight passes for 71 yards. Maxwell was a highly rated prospect coming out of high school. With Kirk Cousins moving on after the season the quarterback job could be Maxwell's for the taking next year. He needs as much game experience as he can get this year.
Maxwell will see his playing time decline sharply in the conference season. He needed to make a lasting impression against Central Michigan, and he did.
The Running Backs
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A week after producing only 29 total rushing yards, Michigan State's running backs came back with a huge game against Central Michigan. As a group, Spartans' running backs rushed for over 200 yards.
Michigan State's two best running backs, Le'Veon Bell and Larry Caper bounced back from an anemic performance against Notre Dame in a big way.
They combined to rush for 133 yards on just 19 carries. Bell also scored three touchdowns.
This game was a huge confidence builder for Michigan State running backs. They are talented enough to give Big Ten defensive coordinators headaches.
The Spartans need to keep running the ball effectively. They showed they could do it this weekend. They must continue to do so.
The rushing attack will allow Kirk Cousins to pick apart Big Ten secondaries as defensive coordinators are forced to respect the running game.
Michigan State's entire secondary could fall into the winners category. The unit picked off Central Michigan four times.
The biggest honor, however, goes to Isaiah Lewis. Lewis was the first Spartan to return an interception for a touchdown since 2009.
Lewis already has two interceptions on the season. Scoring a touchdown made his second even sweeter.
The Offensive Line
The offensive line's inability to create rushing lanes was the biggest reason Michigan State struggled on offense against Notre Dame. The unit bounced back in a big way against Central Michigan.
The offensive line was missing three injured starters on Saturday, but they still showed up to play. The big boys paved the way for 197 rushing yards.
No one player on the offensive line should be singled out. The line must work together on every single play. Saturday's dominating performance is a step in the right direction for the most maligned group on Michigan State's roster.
Central Michigan's front seven put up about as much resistance as your everyday blocking sled. Still, you should not take anything away from the Spartans' offensive line. They came together as one and put last week's abysmal performance in the past. They must continue playing well for Michigan State to make any noise in the Big Ten.