Three consecutive losses have Michigan State Spartan fans upset with the direction of the offense and the season as a whole. While it would be easy to lay the blame at the feet of Dave Warner or quarterback Tyler O’Connor, the issue looks deeper than just play calling and on field performance.
In fact, it’s a two folded issue with problems on defense as well as the offensive side of the ball for the Spartans.
Let’s first examine the main issues on defense.
Currently, MSU is giving up more points per game (25.2) than they did last season (21.7) along with giving up more rushing yards (136.4) per game and total yards (355.8) per game. While the Spartans have reduced opponents passing gains by just over 13-yards per game, the 20-more yards per game rushing also means more time being ran off the clock.
On offense, Warner is seeing just over a touchdown difference in points per game from last season. While it may not seem like a lot, the way the Spartans have traditionally played means they are involved in several close games and with an offense posting 8.8 points less per game, you can see there are some issues on offense.
So far this season the Spartans are on pace with their production of a year ago but are 21-yards shorter in the passing game to date. Also a negative is the 19-yard difference in total yards per game as compared to the 2015 season.
Dave Warner spoke following the loss to BYU about the apparent lack of production on the Spartans offense.
In closing, the Spartans have issues on both sides of the ball with an offense scoring less than what their defense is giving up on average. Last year’s offensive production with their year’s defensive production would have probably seen at least one of the three losses and giving the Spartans a record of 4-1 instead of 2-3.
This year’s offense with last year’s defense would project to each game coming down to what team made the big play of that game to decide a winner.
While offense will get the brunt of the blame and some of it justly, there are issues on both side of the ball that need addressed to get the Spartans back to winning football games in 2016.