It all starts with the quarterback position and Kirk Cousins has been solid so far this season hitting for over 68% (99-145-4, 1,416 yards, 10 TD) of his passes so far this season. Because of the Spartans strong rushing attack, the offense has been balanced and allowed for Cousins never to be placed in a position to have to win a game. While there were times early in the season we had a few questions about Kirk's progression reads, he started to show a great comfort level around the Notre Dame game and has not looked back.
Andrew Maxwell has only been in two games and taken a total of six snaps to date. Many would have hoped the Spartans would have been able to get Maxwell more time under center, but considering the Northern Colorado game was a blowout and three of the first six games were against major teams (Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan) it should not be a surprise on the lack of snaps.
Going into the season many felt good about having both Edwin Baker and Larry Caper back for their sophomore seasons. However, Caper was sidelined with an early injury and Bell took center stage with some solid performances.
The biggest question mark coming into the season was the Spartans offensive line and if they could come together and play well enough to allow the offense to play at a high level. While there have been some question marks and at times breakdowns, the overall play has been solid and continues to show improvements each week. While I would like to see a few less mistakes, the chance this group can only get better in the next several weeks could provide the Spartans the tools they need to run the table on the rest of the Big Ten.
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT ENDS
Going into the season the tight end position was an area of strength for the Spartans. However, after losing one to injury and another for off the field issues, the Spartans were left with sure handed Charlie Gantt and dependable Brian Linthicum to keep the position as one of the team's strengths. The loss of Garrett Celek and Dion Sims was huge, but Gantt and Linthicum have done a solid job combining for 17 catches for 266 yards and three scores.
Who was going to win the kicking job was a major question right up until the season started. Dan Conroy won the job and has never looked back hitting a perfect 9-of-9 including a long of 50-yards. What is even more impressive is he is not hitting a bunch of chip shots as only one of his kicks has come from 20-29 yards. The Spartans know they can call on Conroy from 30-50 yards out and the chances of him hitting it true are extremely high.
This was a very hard to pick, there are several guys you could give it to and say they are fully deserving of it. Therefore, while we only tried to name one, we just could not pick one. Therefore, the first half offensive MVP for the Spartans is… the offensive line. This group has done a great job of opening up the lanes for the Spartans running backs and giving solid protection for Kirk Cousins.