Review: Spartan Keys Florida Atlantic

The Spartans came away with a victory over Florida Atlantic on Saturday at Ford Field. We gave you several keys we felt needed addressed in the game for a Spartans victory. How did the Spartans do? We go back and look.

  SPARTAN KEY #1 Was – DO NOT LOOK PAST FLORIDA ATLANTIC: Last season the Spartans had Central Michigan just prior to Notre Dame. The end result found the Spartans making mistakes and watching Central Michigan leave Spartan Stadium with a victory.

OUTCOME: The Spartans got a victory over the Owls but never really pushed to reach the results. Unlike Central Michigan a year ago, Florida Atlantic did not face a team that made many mental mistakes. There was a fumble and an interception in the end zone, and those will be addressed. But overall the Spartans gave a solid performance without showing too much of what might be ahead when Notre Dame comes calling next Saturday.

  SPARTAN KEY #2 Was – GET AN EARLY LEAD AND WORK TOWARDS THE FUTURE: The Spartans should be looking to get an early lead against Florida Atlantic that will allow for them to use back-ups and work on the finer parts of their game. This will allow the Spartans to show little of their game plan prior to Notre Dame.

OUTCOME: The Spartans got on the board first with a Dan Conroy 44 yard field goal and a Le'Veon Bell touchdown run. However, they also gave up a touchdown in the first quarter. The good part was the way the Spartans answered in the second quarter with another touchdown and field goal to take a 20-7 lead at the half.

  SPARTAN KEY #3 Was – STOP FLORIDA ATLANTIC BIG PLAYS :The Spartans are going up against a team always looking for the "Big Play". The Spartans cannot get too comfortable and allow the Owls to stay in the game by connecting on big offensive plays.

OUTCOME: The biggest play on the day for the Owls came on the Owls last drive as backup quarterback Graham Wilbert hit receiver Lester Jean for a 41-yard completion that Jean took to the 2-yard line before going out of bounds. By this time, many of the Spartans second team defense were on the field.

  SPARTAN KEY #4 Was – GET THE OFFENSIVE LINE SET:The overall performance of the offensive line last Saturday was good. However, it must get better as the season goes along and Saturday will provide a chance for the Spartans to get the left side of the line set.

OUTCOME: The left side of the line made improvements on Saturday as only one sack was given up on the day and protection was much improved. The Spartans ran the ball 30 times and averaged 7.5 yards per carry. Any coach in the country would take those numbers.

  SPARTAN KEY #5 Was – PLACE PRESSURE ON THE QUARTERBACK: Big and slow quarterback is sitting in front of the Spartans come Saturday and it is time for the defensive line to really get some pressure on the signal caller. If the Spartans cannot get pressure, the road ahead could be very rocky.

OUTCOME: Jeff VanCamp was more elusive than many felt he would be. The Spartans got two sacks on the day both from the defensive front. They also got good penetration posting 8 tackles for loss. Colin Neely, Anthony Rashad White and Kevin Pickelman accounted for 4 of them.

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