One Last Look MSU/WMU Report Card

We take one last look at the Western Michigan game before getting to this week's match-up with Florida Atlantic. In this last look, we will look at each position on the field and issue a grade.


Kirk Cousins played a solid game going 13-of-21 for 186 yards and 1 touchdown.  He did receive pressure from the Broncos being sacked two times during the game.  Overall, he was solid and should take his game up a notch this week.  Grade: B+

Running Back

How do you say anything bad when you have two running backs go for over 100 yards and score four touchdowns?  Edwin Baker did what he was supposed to do, Le'Veon Bell was the surprise, and it will be very interesting to see how he performs this weekend.  Grade: A+

Offensive Line

Going into the season, everyone was worried about the right side of the offensive line.  That proved a non-factor as the issues came from the left side especially at left tackle.  For the day, the offensive line had two sacks against them and D.J. Young seemed to have some issues with speed rushes.  Still, the team rushed for just under 300 yards and expected improvement from the left side is expected.  Grade: B

Wide Receiver

On the day, the receivers only pulled down nine balls with one being the great catch by Keith Nichol for a touchdown.  Mark Dell had six of the nice catches and B.J. Cunningham only had one.  Keshawn Martin dropped a few and ended up empty handed.  Grade: B

Tight End

Brian Linthicum and Charlie Gantt got in the stat sheets with catches.  However, Gantt also had a fumble on his big reception as he looked to punish a defensive back.  Overall, the tight ends did a solid job of blocking and more should be expected. Grade: B

Defensive Line

With Blake Treadwell out of the game, several young players got a chance to show what they could do; this was an area I paid a lot of attention to during the game.  Kevin Pickelman, Anthony Rashad White, Jerel Worthy, Colin Neely, and Todd Anderson each had three tackles.  Neely had the team's only sack of the day. Grade: B+


The linebackers were strong as was expected with the three starters (Greg Jones, Eric Gordon, Chris Norman) each placing in the top four of the team in total tackles.  Overall, the Spartan backers were in on a total of 25 tackles.  However, none of the three had a tackle for a loss.  In addition, it was good to see Denicos Allen and the young backers get in the game.  Grade: B+

Defensive Backs

The defensive backs knew they would be on the spot as Western Michigan was going to throw the ball a lot.  On the day, the Broncos threw it 53 times for 238 yards and two touchdowns.  With an average under 5 yards per pass play, it looked like a solid day, but three of the catches where for over twenty yards.  It was good to see Johnny Adams back on the field and Trenton Robinson brought the hammer on several plays.  Grade: B

Special Teams

Aaron Bates was solid with an average over 44 yards but none was inside the twenty.  Kevin Muma did a decent job but had one of his kickoffs go out of bounds and Dan Conroy looked solid in his only attempted from 33 yards out.  Looking at special teams as a whole you see there was one kickoff for a 25-yard return and the longest punt return was for 12 yards.  Grade: B


The Spartans did not show much in their opener and while you could say they played it close to the vest, there were still signs of what the season will bring.  A running attack that has three solid back capable of each gaining over a 100 yards on any given day is a luxury in college football.  However, it was a solid victory and will allow the coaching staff to work on some of the finer points needed as the season starts picking up steam.  Grade: A

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