Fitzgerald Sees Improving Spartans

"They are very disciplined and when you watch them play they are executing the new schemes on offense extremely well," says Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald. "I can't say enough positive things about the job that Mark and his staff are doing up there to really have this team and program playing in the right direction."

Against Northwestern, Michigan Sate will look to prove that the letdowns of previous seasons are ancient history. In prior years, the Spartans may have let a close defeat carry over into the next week, snowballing into a lost season. Now, against a team MSU recorded the greatest comeback in college football history against, the green and white look to reverse some trends.

Michigan State is consistently playing tough, disciplined football and that has Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald worried. Fitzgerald says Michigan State looks like an impressive Big Ten team early on and knows his Wildcats have a mountain to climb on Saturday at Spartan Stadium.

"(They are) very well coached. They are very disciplined and when you watch them play they are executing the new schemes on offense extremely well. The play very physical, they‘ve got a lot of returners from a year ago (when) they played a great game, had a great finish against us, so we're very familiar with them," says Fitzgerald, adding that the accolades go beyond just the play of the team in season. "I can't say enough positive things about the job that Mark and his staff are doing up there to really have this team and program playing in the right direction."

One of the reasons the program's immediate future looks so bright stems from the efficient play of Brian Hoyer at quarterback.

"Hoyer's done a nice job playing within the system," Fitzgerald says. "They're spreading the ball out to a lot of different weapons. I've been extremely impressed with the job he's done getting the ball to Devin Thomas and Kellen Davis. Those two young men are as good as there are in the country at their respective positions."

Fitzgerald says he's impressed with not just the playmakers, but with Michigan State's depth as well.

"They have a freshman playing in Mark Dell, you know, and Deon Curry's playing a lot for them and I haven't even mentioned senior receiver Terry Love," Fitzgerald says.

But the solid play of the offense early on, aside from the two-headed monster in Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick, originates from the steady play at the quarterback position, a position many Spartan fans were worried about after former QB Drew Stanton was drafted by the Detroit Lions.

"They throw the ball to both the backs in the screen game, (Hoyer) spreads it out really well," Fitzgerald says. "He's making good decisions and, you know, he's not forcing things. You see that from a first time quarterback, you see that sometimes, they always gotta got out and make every play; he's just doing a really nice job playing within the system."

This free story is just an example of the great content you'll receive everyday when you become a GSN insider. Why not sign up for a free 7-day trial right now?


Spartan Nation Top Stories