No surprises in this game as everything basically went according to plan. The Spartans rolled into Mt. Pleasant and rolled over the Chips in impressive fashion. Sure, there were a few dicey moments, but those were generally figments of our imaginations. There were brief periods when the defense allowed CMU to run the ball, and some early moments when it looked as though Maxwell wasn’t going to be on target. I get a kick out of the angst level over issues like only being up by 14 points early. There are never any guarantees and the opponent never cares how many points State is favored by. Enough about imaginary struggles though, time to celebrate some accomplishments.
The Spartans defense once again came up huge, only surrendering 72 rushing yards all day, while holding CMU quarterback Ryan Radcliff to 173 yards and intercepting him twice. While not registering many sacks, the front was in the backfield and pummeling the quarterback often aside from walling off rushing lanes. The secondary was swarming and left very little in the way of windows for the Chips to fire passes through. This is still an aggressive, punishing unit and the fun part is that they will only get better as the season progresses.
As for the offense, I feel as though the Spartans came in with a good plan and executed it quite well. Andrew Maxwell’s final stat line(20/31, 275 yds, 2TDs)was indicative of an adequately productive day, and reflected the fact that his receivers were much more in sync with him on the whole. Of that group, Bennie Fowler had the best day, going for 8 receptions resulting in 99 yards with one touchdown. Ten different Spartans recorded a reception in this tilt which is a good indication of an offensive squad that is coming together well. Le’Veon Bell(18 carries, 70 yds, 2 TDs)and Larry Caper(9 carries, 66yds.)kept chugging on the ground, providing the necessary balance to the passing attack.
On the whole I was very pleased with the effort and the results from each squad. There were precious few miscues on a blustery day that could have easily lent itself to more sloppy play in the passing game. The special teams did a superb job, save for one muff that was recovered by MSU, and the defense looked as impressive as ever. Andrew Maxwell has a cannon for an arm, and the more his receivers get used to the velocity the more productive that unit will be. Maxwell could help them out now and then by taking a little bit off his throws but I am sure that will come in time as well. Great win on the road, looking forward to next week.