It’s great to win. CMU may not be a B1G caliber team this year, but it’s still great to win. A cleansing win after last weeks breakdown versus Notre Dame. Everything is reset. Everything is renewed. All is well again in the Spartan empire.
How about Le’Veon Bell! Eight carries for 81 yards. Three TDs.
I rejoice in MSU’s running game because as we all know, when we can run, we can win. Saturday’s routing of Central Michigan was a true four-headed running attack by State. Bell led the ball carriers, but Caper had 11 carries for 54 yards, Baker had 16 for 51 yards and Hill had 8 for 21 yards. That’s 208 total yards for the team.
Baker came out rushing like classic Edwin Baker. He was very solid on the first drive. But where is the cut-flash-gone Baker from last year? I know the O-line is struggling which will have a mighty negative effect on the running game, but I just thought Baker was going to be THE guy this year. I’m not down on him. Not at all. He’s solid and he’s contributing in a big way. He’s doing his part. I’m rooting for you Edwin.
And here’s to B.J. Cunningham. Cunningham continues to haul in passes just when the Spartans need them. He had three grabs for 67 yards including a 54 yard strike on the first drive.
But like the running game, MSU spreads it around. Check out all the Spartans getting in on the action Saturday: Sonntag (4), Cunningham (3), Nichol (3), Lippett (3), Sims (2), Mumphery (2), Baker (1), Bell (1), Caper (1) and Lithicum (1). That’s 20 receptions for 284 yards. Not bad.
QB duty was split between Cousins and Maxwell. In the first quarter, Cousins was a bit off. he missed a few touch passes that he normally would nail. But he pulled it together quickly and ended up 13-22 with one TD and one INT before handing the reins over to Maxwell. Maxwell looked terrific. He went 7-8 with one TD, which is outstanding. Beyond the stats, he moved well, looked composed, made good decisions and was effective. It’s nice to know we have a go-to at back-up QB, and a starter-in-waiting for 2012/2013.
The Spartan Defense is now ranked 8th in the country allowing an average of 11 points per game. They played well Saturday with four interceptions including a Pick-Six by Isaiah Lewis. The D held Central to 112 yards; 91 in the air and a mere 21 on the ground.
Overall, not perfect but very good. The competition next week (and the weeks that follow) will be vastly superior and we need to be prepared.
October is a tough month for MSU this year. We start off B1G play in The Shoe against a damaged but dangerous Ohio State (3-1) squad. After a week off it’s back to East Lansing for the most important game of the year (IMHO) versus Michigan (4-0, #22). The Spartans have made a habit of handing the Wolverines their first loss as of lately. Next up is Wisconsin (4-0, #6) who are looking very tough (although they haven’t really been challenged yet) and are probably looking for some revenge after MSU handed them their only loss in the 201o season. To wrap-up October, MSU heads to Lincoln to face B1G newcomer Nebraska (4-1, #9). This is a a textbook “tough stretch” for the Spartans. A lot will be sorted out in the B1G in October, at least within the Legends division.
November is no cake walk either, but October is THE test. It starts next week with the MSU-OSU game on ABC and/or ESPN at 3:30pm Eastern. It’s going to be a hell of a game.