After less than a minute, an angry Smith blew up at a routine question by veteran MSU beat reporter Dave Dye of the Detroit News. Smith had stated that the loss was the fault of the coaching staff to which Dye responded "Why do you say that?"
Smith angrily blasted back with "because I said it was!" The response caught the reporters in the room off-guard. When Smith asked if there were anymore questions, the stunned reporters didn't immediately follow up causing Smith to abruptly end the session.
Some Spartans fans loved the fiery reaction from Smith. Others even blamed the media for many of the teams woes. But a few observers are worried that Smith may be suffering from the same ailment that caused former coach Nick Saban to bolt to LSU, burnout.
It can't be the easiest stretch when you have to annually play Michigan and Ohio State back-to-back. Adding insult to injury, the Spartans have #4 Wisconsin next up on their docket. Only two years in, could Smith be feeling in over his head?
After a day to simmer down, he explained his actions this way: "After that deal, you're not a fun person to be around. So the best thing to do is go somewhere and hide and don't be around anybody. In fact, my wife didn't talk to me," quipped Smith. "I went home and she locked me downstairs."
Smith was right to be frustrated. His offensive and defensive coaching staffs seem to be getting outcoached by their opponents. Ohio State appeared to be waiting on the Dave Rayner rugby-style punt which was fielded on the fly by Buckeyes freshman Ted Ginn, Jr. and returned for a touchdown.
MSU's offense was unable to move the ball until they had gotten behind 17 to nothing. The defense appeared to be ill-prepared for an inept Buckeyes offense that couldn't score until it got to East Lansing.
MSU kept an injured Eric Smith on the field which help to allow Ginn to score the winning touchdown on a 51-yard pass play. MSU had a healthy Greg Cooper in reserve, yet elected to keep Smith on the field. The Spartans haven't figured out how to play a prevent defense, letting opposing receivers get behind them for big plays with the game on the line.
If the Spartans need to shake up their coaching staff in the off-season, they shouldn't hesitate. The Spartans are recruiting some talented players to East Lansing and can't allow poor coaching to take away shots to win ballgames.
The Spartans did get two bits of good news. First was the highly regarded tailback A. J. Jimmerson, from St. Louis Hazelwood Central High school gave his oral commitment to the team and second, that quarterback Drew Stanton could be back from a separated shoulder in time to play against Wisconsin.
The presence of Stanton at near 100% would give MSU a much better chance of defeating Big Ten co-leader Wisconsin.