3. Look like a focused team
If I were to grade each goal, this one would get an F-.
Missed assignments, blown coverage, miscommunication on passing plays, mental mistakes, and dumb penalties; these are all reasons teams lose games, and the Spartans excelled in each of them. Even broadcaster Chris Simms pointed out numerous mistakes by the defensive backs not being in the right spot in coverage, the poor tackling, and the mind-numbingly dumb unsportsmanlike conduct penalty or tackling the punt returner when he clearly called for a fair catch.
To say there was a lack of focus would be to say that there was any at all. Bad passes, weak run blocking by the offensive line that got dominated all game, questionable play-calling, extremely poor tackling, gaping holes in coverage, I could go on for 1,000 more words about the things that MSU players and coaches couldn’t get right that has absolutely nothing to do with talent and everything to do with attitude, focus, and will.
I understand that it was a chaotic week and they were not expected to win this game, but to come out in front of a crowd that knew they needed to support the players and coaches and put that kind of product on the field is unacceptable. At home against a West Coast team and yet Boise State and Tulsa gave better performances when they were at Washington. MSU unquestionably has more talent than those two programs which means it was a matter of effort and focus, which is partly on the players and partly on the coaches.
The players are young and resilient and should want to play football to forget about the news of the week. The coaches needed to put these players in the best possible position to succeed and whatever the game plan for running the ball was didn’t do that.
The Spartans have one week to get their heads in order and show up against lackluster Maryland in a must-win game. If they’re flat against Maryland, we are looking at 2016 territory and I just don’t have the energy to endure a poor season after so much expectation.