Grading The Spartans: Maryland Edition

Taking a look at how each unit performed against the Terrapins on Saturday in the Spartans' 37-15 win.


Offense: C+

Michigan State finished with almost 500 yards, but it was not a convincing performance early. The Spartans did not get the run going quickly and Connor Cook was off to a slow start. MSU picked it up late, with Langford carrying the load in the second half as a low-scoring affair turned to a 37-15 win. Langford finished with 100-plus yards again, but Cook did not throw a touchdown pass for the first time in his past 17 games. Keith Mumphery had a solid showing once again, while Aaron Burbridge and MacGarrett Kings made plays.

Defense: B+

A week after being ran through, over and around, Michigan State’s defense stepped back up. MSU allowed just six yards rushing on 17 attempts, while holding Maryland to just 252 yards total. Big plays remain a concern, as do coverage busts. Maryland’s first score came on a wide-open play, while Darian Hicks was beat for a 50-yard gain and then a touchdown later. All in all, it was a solid performance, especially from the front seven and MSU forced seven three-and-outs.

Special teams: B

It was probably Mike Sadler’s best game of the season so far, but on the other hand, the coverage teams struggled. Maryland returner Will Likely had multiple big kickoff returns, including a 52-yarder. The Spartans recovered a fumble on a muffed punt – their third special teams turnover in the past two weeks. Michael Geiger was very strong, hitting his first three field-goal attempts and snapping out of a slump.

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