Air Force vs Michigan State: Grading the Spartans’ performance

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Sep 19, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Defensive coach Harlon Barnett talks to Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive/defensive lines: C

Not much can be said for the poor play of the offensive line. There were no holes for these young running backs to run to and it seemed like the line was taking it easy on the Air Force defense, at times. I never thought I would be giving this group as low of a grade as it received, but the coaches had to be disappointed with what they saw between the tackles.

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It seems like the loss of Kodi Kieler for the time being has been hampering this group as it has been really struggling to get on the same page with Cook and running backs. It’s always a difficult transition when you lose a starter and have to shift a guy to a new position and have two more guys rotate at the vacant spot.

Oh yeah, and the offensive line gave up its first sacks of the season against Air Force — No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 against an average, but aggressive, defense.

The defensive line started slow because it was trying to get a read on the triple-option attack, but then it gained some steam as the D-line was starting to follow the ball better and make the outside runs turn it inside to the linebackers.

Not a great game, by any means, but the defensive line was not a soft spot. Although the Spartans gave up 279 yards on the ground, which is unacceptable, they were facing the second-best rushing attack in the country — the Falcons averaged 411 yards per game through two weeks.

Next: Secondary/Linebackers