Five Takeaways: USF edition

What did we learn from the Spartans' win against USF? Not much about the quarterback situation.

1. The quarterback situation is less settled than it was last week

This would appear to be obvious by adding a third player into the playing group, but it's deeper than that. It would be one thing if Michigan State was rotating in a QB with a rhyme or reason, but it feels random at many points.

Andrew Maxwell, Connor Cook and Tyler O'Connor each helped put a decent drive together, but only Cook's resulted in a touchdown. Maxwell's ended on a failed fourth-down conversion and O'Connor's in a missed field goal.

No one made any obvious separation to be the guy. That is a scary truth.

2. Shilique Calhoun is not a drop off from Will Gholston

My thoughts going into the season were Calhoun brings a stronger pass rush presence than Gholston, who was good with run defense. Calhoun is showing that and proved it again Saturday against South Florida.

He spends a lot of time in the backfield and has three defensive touchdowns now.

3. Denicos Allen is playing like he did in 2011 again

Allen had a monster year in 2011 and a little less of a productive year in 2012, statistically. He has been flying all over the field thus far. He had eight tackles, a sack, a pass break-up and two quarterback hurries. One of the hurries led to Calhoun's interception, which was returned for a touchdown.

4. The run game has good options

Nick Hill seemed to be the feature back Saturday, as he started and had nine carries – tied for the team-lead. Jeremy Langford also had nine carries, and he added five receptions to lead the team. Riley Bullough was a great change of pace with six carries for 38 yards.

The trio combined for 141 yards on 24 carries, almost six yards per carry. That's a solid day of work for the running backs.

5. Tight end is a major hole

Unless I am mistake, the Spartans threw to a tight end just once and it was O'Connor's ill-advised throw into coverage in the end zone. Jamal Lyles got in for a little bit as an H-back/TE option and was good in the blocking for someone who just moved over to the position from defensive end, but is he an option in the passing game?

A couple years ago, the Spartans had a wealth of tight ends and now the cupboard is pretty bare.


Spartan Digest Top Stories