Michigan State vs Oregon: What worked and what didn’t against the Ducks

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Sep 12, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans tight end Josiah Price (82) attempts to catch a pass against Oregon Ducks safety Tyree Robinson (3) during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Tight Ends

Josiah Price continues to be Connor Cook’s choice on third down and in the red zone. Price has a knack for getting open and making those all important plays.

Must Read: MSU Football: 5 position battles to watch this fall

Jamal Lyles has been promoted to co-starter with Price and had his first reception of the year. Even blocking specialist, Paul Lang, got into the pass-catching action with one catch for three yards. Of course at State, tight ends have to be able to catch and block.

Sep 12, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans tight end Jamal Lyles (11) signals first down after a catch during the third quarter against the Oregon Ducks at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans beat the Ducks 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

What went well: Getting open

The tight ends were open for much of the day. Cook didn’t always find them, but they were there for him. I expect that after film study, MSU will adjust and Cook will look to the tight ends much more often. While Cook does look for Price and he did hit Lyles for an 18-yarder, I think he will try to get Lyles more touches.

What didn’t: Price’s run-blocking

As mentioned above, Jamal Lyles has been promoted to co-starter with Josiah Price. This could be because Lyles has done a tremendous job and has caught up to Price or it could be that Price has not done all that’s been asked of him.

It’s likely a bit of both.

And since Price is catching TDs and third downs consistently, it must be his blocking that is not up to snuff. On a few occasions, Price was just trucked and left the MSU running back with nowhere to go.

Oregon has big and athletic ends, so some of this is expected, but you never like to see your tight end picking himself up off of the ground and go over to help pick his running back up off the ground in the offensive backfield.

Price is an invaluable receiver so we don’t want to see him lose snaps because of his blocking.

Next: Offensive line