As the final seconds ticked off the clock on Saturday night’s Michigan State football loss to Washington, reality began to set in: the Spartans have a ton of work to do.
Entering the 2022 season, everyone expected Michigan State to compete for a Big Ten title and really push Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State in the Big Ten East. But by losing to a then-unranked Washington team on the road, it signaled the need for changes.
The defense that was supposed to be more effective than last year looked the same and it was both a schematic and a personnel issue. Everything that could go wrong, did.
Michigan State’s defense looked unprepared, the offense started slow, and the offensive line was just non-existent. It was a long day for both sides of the ball and that has to kill a coach like Mel Tucker who preaches “complementary football.”
While this loss was deflating and the same issues can’t be repeated if the Spartans want to win the Big Ten, it can also be used as a very early learning lesson.
Michigan State football has to learn from this deflating loss
Learning lessons come in all shapes and sizes. Some are excruciatingly painful and others are tame. This one falls under the excruciatingly painful category.
Michigan State was basically out of the game within the first 20 minutes and although the Spartans scored a touchdown to pull within two scores right before the half, the defense let them down as Washington marched right down and scored a responding touchdown with four seconds left in the second quarter.
That cannot happen.
Defense, offensive line, special teams. Everything needs to be fixed. Luckily Michigan State has a coach that is willing to make those changes.
It’s OK to be down on the Spartans after this loss, but it can be used to benefit the team in the long run. Time to learn some lessons.