Michigan State vs Oregon: Grading the Spartans

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Sep 12, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans place kicker Michael Geiger (4) kicks a field goal out of the hold of Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Matt Macksood (86) during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Special teams: D-

Oh, man. This group was absolutely hard to watch. Whether it was the swiss cheese punt and kickoff coverage units or the now-unreliable leg of Michael Geiger, the Spartans seem to be playing with fire whenever a special teams unit heads onto the field.

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In Geiger’s freshman season with MSU a couple of years ago, he was 15-of-16 in made field goals and the future looked very bright in the kicking game. However, the junior is just 16-of-25 since then, even missing a 28-yard field goal on Saturday night — that would have been an extra point miss in the NFL.

After that miss, he narrowly made another. Not often in Dantonio’s tenure have we had to hold our breath for a short field goal or extra point, but it’s getting to be that way.

As for the kickoff and punt coverage: wow. Just wow. There really isn’t much that can be said for these units as the Spartans allowed a 70-yard kickoff return to Western Michigan last week before the return man was tackled short of a TD and then followed that up by allowed a 100-yard return for a touchdown on the next kick.

This week, the Spartans allowed an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown and multiple long returns in both the punt and kickoff units.

The only reason I’m not giving special teams an ‘F’ is because punter Jake Hartbarger continues to impress with his leg.

Next: MSU Recruiting: Who could be the next to commit?