The Michigan State senior wide receiver did not have a 100-yard receiving game coming into the season but has recorded two in the first two games. He has been Connor Cook’s go-to target and again played big for the Spartans. This time, he had 133 yards receiving on 11 receptions with a 7-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He now has 300 yards receiving on 15 receptions with three touchdowns this season.
The only backup offensive lineman to see action, Allen played left guard, center and right guard for the Spartans and was solid in his second game as a true freshman. It seemed like he exceled at center and had good rapport with Cook already.
Rush had 11 tackles, including a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. Unfortunately, for the defensive line, the game will be remembered more for the plays that it did not make in bringing down Marcus Mariota. Rush did his part for much of the game, though, and it was one of the better statistical performances of his career.
Unlike Rush, Calhoun was not much of a factor at all. He recorded four tackles, but no sacks, tackles for loss or quarterback hurries. As the face of the Spartans’ defense, he has to be more productive in big games.
Hicks got the start at the STAR linebacker spot and had a good first drive, with a pass breakup. He had a costly and stupid penalty for a personal foul in the first quarter, though. After Mariota ran for no gain on first-and-goal, Hicks dove into him and drew the flag. The Ducks wound up scoring on fourth-and-goal for their first score of the game.
It would be unfair to pick on one member more than the rest, as each of the Spartans starting defensive backs had some play(s) that made their day less than stellar. Trae Waynes contributed to a coverage bust – two if you count a trip. R.J. Williamson failed to bring down Devon Allen downfield. Kurtis Drummond and Waynes failed to communicate on Keanon Lowe’s touchdown. Darian Hicks was beaten badly – and picked – on Allen’s second touchdown. It was a really rough day for the secondary all in all, but that is the type of thing Marcus Mariota does.