Grading The Spartans: Rutgers Edition

Taking a look at how each positional unit performed in the 45-3 win Saturday. Hint: Things went well.

OVERALL GRADES

Offense: A-

Michigan State scored a touchdown on five straight possessions to close the first half to take a 35-0 halftime lead. It again was another dominant rushing performance for the Spartans who ran for 242 yards and 5.5 yards per carry. Jeremy Langford had his 15th straight game with more than 100 yards against a Big Ten team and had his fifth straight multi-touchdown game. Nick Hill chipped in a pair of touchdowns. Tony Lippett broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season and notched his 10th touchdown. Connor Cook, who was slightly off for much of the day, completed 66 percent of his throws for 252 yards and a pair of scores. It was an all-around strong showing again.

Defense: B+

Another encouraging performance for the Michigan State defense after the blasting against Ohio State two weeks ago. Michigan State held Rutgers to 234 yards and just 95 on the ground on 29 attempts. Rutgers really could not get much going through either the air or on the ground. Perhaps the most encouraging thing for Michigan State was seeing improved play in the secondary. The second corner spot was manned by a combination of Tony Lippett, Demetrious Cox and Darian Hicks and all had bright moments. Riley Bullough had another strong showing – his second in a row – as he recorded one of MSU’s three interceptions.

Special Teams: B+

The Spartans finally busted out a trick play as Mike Sadler pitched the ball to Michael Geiger on a fake field goal – “The Sword in the Stone” – as Geiger ran for 23 yards and almost scored. R.J. Shelton almost broke a kickoff return – something he keeps coming close to doing. MacGarrett Kings did muff a punt, but recovered it.


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