Michigan State vs Western Michigan: Grading the Spartans

7 of 7

Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans place kicker Michael Geiger (4) kicks a field goal out of the hold of wide receiver Matt Macksood (86) during the 2nd half of a game at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Special teams: D

This was the obvious low point for the Spartans on Friday night. The game opened with a 70-yard kickoff return by Darius Phillips who gave the Broncos great field position to start the game, but they ended up squandering the opportunity, missing a field goal.

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Michigan State went on to score the next touchdown just minutes later, and another Kevin Cronin kickoff was in store. Instead of trying to kick it shorter so Phillips didn’t get a long return in, he once again kicked it to the dangerous return man and he took it 100 yards to the house, tying the game at seven.

Sure, that’s not all on Cronin because the coaching staff probably didn’t tell him to kick it elsewhere, but the kickoff coverage was just awful. Guys were missing tackles while others weren’t aware of where the ball was.

The kickoff team got an ‘F’ for the performance while the field goal and punt teams brought the grade up a bit. Jake Hartbarger looked great and he is proving that Mike Sadler taught him well — all he needs to do next is dominate Twitter.

Overall, the Spartans know where they need to improve and expect them to be ready for Oregon.

Next: MSU Football: 5 bold predictions for September