Michigan State Football: 3 takeaways from Pinstripe Bowl win over Wake Forest

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Wake Forest and Michigan State football squared off in the 2019 Pinstripe Bowl on Friday afternoon. What’d we learn from the final game of the season?

Michigan State Spartans
Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake Forest gave Michigan State its best shot, but in the end, the defense stepped up to hold on to the victory at Yankee Stadium, 27-21.

It looked like it was going to be a shootout with a 21-20 score at halftime and Michigan State came out of the locker room right away to score the go-ahead touchdown to make it 27-21, but three empty trips by the Spartans in the red zone late in the second half kept the score that way.

It was the perfect send-off for Brian Lewerke who played a great game as well as Kenny Willekes whose strip-sack (which Wake Forest ultimately recovered) with minutes remaining led to the big win for Michigan State, improving to 7-6 on the year.

What’d we learn from the Spartans’ Pinstripe Bowl performance?

3. Offensive line continues to be a mess

It’s a miracle that Elijah Collins had as many rushing yards as he did and it’s mostly because he create his own running room. The offensive line did him no favors and surrendered a handful of “hit as soon of he touched it” plays — those have become a common theme with this offense.

Brian Lewerke was running for his life, Collins was getting stuffed behind the line and the Spartans probably could have finished with more rushing yards thanks to a solid game from the redshirt freshman, but decided to pass late.

Collins finish the season with 988 yards and that may have been different with a little better blocking.

The line needs to improve next season and that should happen with Devontae Dobbs back — he did retain his redshirt by not playing at left tackle on Friday afternoon.

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