The Michigan State Spartans are in worse shape than the Wisconsin Badgers…depending on how you view things. The Spartans do have a worse conference record, but the difference isn’t much. Let’s find out how Michigan State is doin’…
The majority of the problems for Michigan State seem to stem from inconsistency and mistakes made by the team’s offensive line. Their quarterback Payton Thorne hasn’t had time to create much before running out of the pocket or taking the sack. Overall, the Spartans are just about even with Wisconsin in terms of total pass yards on the season. Like Wisconsin, they also have five different receivers that have pulled in over 100 yards. However, they have significantly more receivers with 10 or more completions this season. While they keep the play calling fairly balanced in regard to a mix of run and pass plays they’ve been almost completely unable to do anything with their rushing attack since their first real test against the Washington Huskies.
Former Badger starter Jalen Berger hasn’t had as good of a season as he might have hoped for when he transferred to East Lansing. While he’s averaged a fairly respectable 4.8 yards per carry and 6 TDs on the season his numbers from the last four games will show he’s been held to 2.6 yards per carry and 0 touchdowns.
The defense is just atrocious. I don’t know another way to describe it other than that. While they’re averaging less than 300 yards per game on the season, they’ve allowed 452 yards per game in the previous four matchups. The same awful reality can be said about points allowed. On the season they’ve allowed just around 25 points per game but in the previous four games they’ve seen opponents average around 37 points a game. They can’t seem to stop anyone with moderate talent this year. It’s been especially bad against the pass as the Spartans rank 122nd in passing yards allowed per game. Last season, they ranked dead last in that category as well.
This is a team on a down year that’s already headed into rebuild status. Tucker has made real strides in making his program attractive to top recruits. This may surprise you, but Michigan State has the 23rd highest-ranked recruiting class according to 24/7 sports. How? That’s a good question for the Wisconsin Athletic Department. Saeed Khalif was responsible for creating the highest-ranked recruiting class in Wisconsin history. So how did he end up at Michigan State?
We let him walk. Yep, it amazes me too. So while the Spartans may not seem like a threat for now if they are able to build something off of Khallif’s recruiting abilities look out cause this one could sting. Since Khalif’s exit, the Badgers are sitting at 44th overall in 2023. The Spartans may not field the best team this coming Saturday but we still need to find ways that make our program more attractive than Michigan State’s for the betterment of future seasons.