Air Force vs Michigan State: Grading the Spartans’ performance

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Sep 19, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; dMichigan State Spartans linebacker Andrew Dowell (5) celebrates fumble recovery during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Secondary: D; Linebackers: B

I had to give these two position groups separate grades, unlike I usually do, and the reason for this has to be the fact that the linebackers were solid, for the most part, and the secondary looked like a fourth-grade football team trying to defend against the pass.

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

Riley Bullough might be the best linebacker Michigan State has had in a while as he recorded a career-high 16 tackles against Air Force’s strong run game, but was ejected in the fourth quarter after a targeting penalty. He will also be suspended for the first half against Central Michigan.

The combo of Jon Reschke and Chris Frey combined for just five tackles as they could have done a better job of shedding tackles and getting to the ball carrier. It was obvious this option attack confused the young guys. Shane Jones added a season-high four total tackles as well.

Senior cornerback Arjen Colquhoun, filling in for the potentially out-for-the-season Vayante Copeland, looked lost all game. When the Falcons dropped back for a pass, all corners, as well as safeties, thought it was a draw and rushed toward the line of scrimmage, leaving a guy wide open.

There’s just no excuse for letting Air Force complete 6-of-9 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown when they had just 143 yards through the air in two combined games. Oh yeah, and this was its backup QB.

Next: Special teams