Grading the Spartans: Indiana Edition

We gave you five keys for Michigan State, now we take a look at how MSU fared in those areas in Saturday's 56-17 win

FIVE KEYS

No big plays for Coleman: C

For the most part, Michigan State did well to limit Tevin Coleman, but he had a 65-yard run that set up a field goal and a 30-yard run that set up a touchdown. He did not see the end zone for the first time this season, though, which is an accomplishment against the Hoosiers stud running back.

Own the fourth quarter: A+

Michigan State won the fourth 21-0 with three rushing touchdowns. It was a dominant showing on both sides of the ball, the defense allowed just 33 yards to the Hoosiers in the final frame. The second half was pretty dominant entirely, but closing out a game and doing big things in the fourth quarter was necessary.

Get more defensive ends snaps: B-

It is a tough one to gauge as Indiana had just 49 offensive plays. Evan Jones was in and had a pass deflection, while Demetrius Cooper recovered a fumble. So while the snaps were limited, they did make the most of the time they were given. More production still is needed from Cooper more so than Jones, but it is important for MSU to get more moving forward.

Expect the unexpected and adjust: B

There was not a lot of unexpected brought to the table by Indiana, as quarterback Zander Diamont was limited in what he could do. Coleman brought what was expected, while Shane Wynn had a long touchdown run. The Spartans certainly did adjust in the second half, though, allowing very few yards late.

Run the ball again: A+

Michigan State had 330 yards on the ground, the third time this season that the it has had more than 300 yards on the ground. It was an impressive display of balance as Nick Hill had 178 yards while Jeremy Langford had 100-plus again with 109 on 21 carries. Delton Williams also chipped in a 22-yard score and Michigan State has averaged 312 yards on the ground in its past two games.

OVERALL PLAYS

Offense: A

Cook had a bad interception and a few iffy throws, but he completed 24 of 32 passing for 332 yards. The rushing attack – as detailed above – was clicking on all cylinders yet again. It was a huge burst of yards with 662, the most since 2005 against Illinois. There seems to be little doubt that this team can score points and move the ball, but still it could use a little more consistency at points (it had a run of three-and-outs in the second quarter).

Defense: B+

It was not the best first half, but also not the worst. The Spartans showed poor tackling on Wynn’s 75-yard touchdown run and allowed a couple big plays to Coleman. From there, it was a dominant performance. Take out three big plays and it would have been an entirely dominant showing. The 11 yards passing allowed is the lowest mark under Mark Dantonio.

Special Teams: B

Michael Geiger missed a field goal for the third straight week, which is a little concerning since he missed just one all of last season as a freshman. There was no real punt return game as MacGarrett Kings fair caught all but one – actually a good thing as he has not called for a fair catch much lately, it seemed. Mike Sadler was good on his four punts.


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