Michigan State Football: What worked and what didn’t against Central Michigan

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Sep 26, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans running back Gerald Holmes (24) runs the ball against Central Michigan Chippewas linebacker Nathan Ricketts (42) during the 1st quarter of a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs

Michigan State has had only one running back go for at least 100 yards in one game this season, Madre London, in week two. Some of struggle is happening because of the running back by committee approach, but MSU fans are ready to see more production from the running back position.

Must Read: MSU Football: 5 position battles to watch

Pleasantly surprised will turn to impatience if State fans don’t see steady progress from the young and talented tailback group.

What went well: Gerald Holmes, finisher

After sitting out two games in a row, it looked like Gerald Holmes had lost his place in the running back rotation. Nothing about Saturday’s game looked to counter that as he didn’t get any touches through the first three quarters.

However, he did get the call and he made the most of it. Holmes scored an important touchdown run to give the Spartans some breathing room and then the game clincher following a Central turnover. Fellow Flint-native and former Spartan basketball star Mateen Cleaves tweeted the following:

Sure, the other tailbacks would likely have scored on those runs, but Holmes was in there and took care of business. It will be interesting to see if this means more time for the redshirt sophomore.

What didn’t: Busting a long one

It seemed like London and L.J. Scott were just one missed tackle from busting a long one or two in this game — to be fair, Scott had a 29-yarder. The thing is they have to start doing that — they need to make that last guy miss or run through that last tackle to break open the run game and the entire game for that matter.

The offensive line has not lived up to the hype and is dealing with injuries at the moment, but when they have the chance to get past the last defender they need to go ahead and make that happen. It’s the difference between solid and great. So far MSU fans can’t complain because a position that had more questions than answers coming into the season has been solid.

If MSU wants to “reach higher” this year, it will need the running backs to take that next step.

Next: Wide Receivers