Michigan State vs Oregon: Grading the Spartans

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Sep 12, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. (3) is sacked by Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive/Defensive lines: A-

One guy who I continue to be impressed with on the defensive line has to be Joel Heath. The senior defensive tackle just doesn’t get the credit he deserves and he leads all d-linemen for the Spartans with nine tackles this year, including a sack last week.

Must Read: MSU Football: Next man up at every position

Shilique Calhoun had another solid game, adding his second sack of the season, Malik McDowell was great as always and Lawrence Thomas was just a beast with six tackles and a sack of his own.

However, it was guys like Craig Evans, Demetrius Cooper and Damon Knox that also impressed on this side of the ball. Evans looked solid early, putting pressure on Vernon Adams and looking speedy with his big frame. The other two were effective throughout as well.

On the offensive side of things, Manny Machado is a name to watch for the next couple of weeks as he came in for Kodi Kieler after an injury and really helped anchor the offensive line. L.J. Scott’s late touchdown run even went through his hole.

The rest of the line was great once again as Connor Cook has still yet to be sacked this season and holes are there for the two young running backs to burst through. They are keeping the distinction of top offensive line in the nation alive.

Why an ‘A-‘ then? Too often in the second half, the offensive line had trouble opening a gap up the middle as the Spartans’ run game was stalled for way too many two and three-yard runs.

Next: Linebackers/Secondary