I wrote like 600 words already on this, but I’m deleting most of them. All offseason long I thought 9-3 was a good estimate for 2012 MSU. I read a lot of hype about the lack of drop-off from Cousins to Maxwell and ratcheted those expectations up to the 10-2 or 11-1 type area. This is a 7-5 team and they might need to work hard to get to that number even. That’s disappointing and it’s pissed a lot of fans off. Maybe we’re greedy after two 11 win seasons, but after upping everyone’s seat prices by 50 bucks or more across the Spartan Stadium board, fans aren’t the only ones.
The players are far from the problem. They seem to be improving in spite of a dose of the injury bug this year not seen in the Dantonio era. Taiwan Jones has really emerged in recent weeks. James Kittredge has been a positive player at the Worthy spot this year. Kurtis Drummond and RJ WIlliamson are both great players at the safety position. Burbridge and Mumphery are coming along nicely and the drops seem to have dropped off some. At least the “OMG you are open like 7-11” ones.
Offensive playcalling is undoubtedly impacted when you lose two Offensive Line starters. The interior run game disappeared when Travis Jackson went down against OSU. The ability to put off a pass rush was greatly diminished when Fonoti went down.
All of that said, my patience for the offensive playcalling is exhausted right now. There is no way with a back as gifted as Le’Veon Bell and the passing game that’s clearly coming along that MSU should manage only 6 points that weren’t turnover presents. Iowa’s defense is good, but not that good. The offensive playcalling must improve for MSU to contend for conference titles, it might need to improve for them to make a bowl game. Any bowl game.
The hope of a Big Ten title is gone. You can resign yourself to that right now if you haven’t already. I didn’t until the pass to Mumphery got picked off to lose the game. Now the goal is to make a bowl game, preferably win, and fix some of these problems for 2013.
THings I liked about this game later this week or in the TOC Podcast.