Pat Narduzzi must feel upset Michigan State students did not crown him 2012 homecoming king. The wily defensive coordinator has been the sole bright spot on the Spartans’ coaching staff this fall. His defense has held opposing offenses to 20 points or less five times this season, including MSU’s 19-16 double-overtime loss versus Iowa Saturday.
Michigan State (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) held the Hawkeyes to 257 total yards of offense and six of 19 on third down conversions, forced eight punts and only allowed quarterback James Vandenberg to throw for 134 yards. None of that matters when the Spartans are unable to move the ball on offense.
Andrew Maxwell completed simply 12 of 31 passing attempts for a measly 179 yards and the game losing interception in overtime. Le’Veon Bell pounded the ball in the ground game for 140 yards and a touchdown scamper, and Aaron Burbridge was the best Spartan receiver for a second week in a row, as he hauled in five receptions for 89 yards.
The Spartans’ national title hopes have been crushed and it appears that its dream of winning the Big Ten championship has been defeated, too. With MSU out of the race to win the division, Mark Dantonio has to do something to spur an offensive explosion heading into the final five games of its schedule. It would not be surprising to see offensive coordinator Dan Roushar’s job on the chopping block this week. His game plans have been ineffective and it shows in the Spartans inability to score touchdowns and earn first downs.
Michigan State will travel to Ann Arbor to play against Michigan next Saturday.