September 8, 2013
DotComp: Are we over-reacting? No
EAST LANSING - It was the perhaps the worst offensive performance we've ever seen in a Spartan victory.
This coming one week after I called Michigan State's stumbler against Western Michigan the most disappointing MSU victory in years.
Am I overreacting? Michigan State DID rush for 171 yards in this 21-6 victory over South Florida.
I guess we're all focused on this quarterback problem, and rightly so. Michigan State is showing no signs of improving as a passing team. Without balance, without the ability to throw downfield, this team is not going to improve on last year's seven-win total - despite its elite defense.
When a team in desperate need of progress in the passing game throws for only 94 yards on 24 attempts by three confused quarterbacks against a team as bad as South Florida (with three near-interceptions and one bad sack/fumble charged to QB Connor Cook), it's a crisis.
Mark Dantonio didn't use that word, but he spoke irritatedly during his post-game press conference. He's had enough of this. But he's having trouble finding a way out.
"Well, of course I'm concerned," he said. "On a scale of 1 to 10. I'd say it's about 8? Is that good enough?
"We've got to have more passing game than we're having right now. And that's pretty simple, I don't think you have to be an expert to dissect that.
"I thought we ran the ball okay today but you can't be one-dimensional. At some point in time you've got to be able to do the other. You come in at halftime and you've got 28 yards passing. That's not enough. "
Today, we're not congratulating the defense for scoring two TDs and holding a terrible South Florida passing attack to 6-of-25 misery. Defensive excellence is expected by now. Fans and media want to focus on the leaks, try to pinpoint the problems and determine whether or not they can be solved.
So we'll dwell on the negative. And I'm not sure it can be solved in time.
There's no need for me to repeat what you already know and what's already been said - the QB situation is a joke. The coaches know it. The players know it. But it's like an addiction. They can't shake it because these QBs are so evenly flawed that it's nearly impossible to pick one.
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