Central Michigan vs Michigan State: Final grades for the Spartans

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Sep 26, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Central Michigan Chippewas wide receiver Anthony Rice (80) is defended by Michigan State Spartans defensive back Demetrious Cox (7) during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Linebackers: B-; Secondary: D

Michigan State’s linebacking unit has been one of the best in the Big Ten this season, even without Ed Davis who was lost to a season-ending knee injury just before the season began.

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Riley Bullough missed the first half after getting ejected against Air Force in the fourth quarter for a targeting penalty. He came in during the second half and provided a big spark to the defense, recording seven tackles. On the year, that gives Bullough 46 total tackles and 3.0 sacks.

In place of Bullough, Shane Jones did a great job and so did Andrew Dowell when given a shot. Jones finished with five total tackles as the starter at middle linebacker while Dowell had two, but showed signs of a great tackler, wrapping up in the open field.

Pass coverage needs to be much better for the linebackers, however.

Moreover, the secondary was just awful, warranting my lowest grade of the week, a ‘D.’ If it wouldn’t be too harsh to go lower than that grade, I probably would, but there were some things that this unit did do well.

Montae Nicholson needs to step up his game by about 100 percent as he looks just lost in the defensive backfield, allowing plenty of long completions. Arjen Colquhoun was improved, but not great. Demetrious Cox showed flashes of being the best defensive back and RJ Williamson was in and out of the game with an injury.

I though Darian Hicks came in and played well when given a shot, but maybe Mark Dantonio needs to burn a couple of redshirts in order to make sure this team is solid against opposing quarterbacks.

Cooper Rush completed passes with ease, finishing with 26-of-39 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown. That trend cannot continue.

Next: Special teams