OPINION: What MSU Football Needs To Do Now

The season is slipping away from Michigan State after three consecutive losses and a visit from crosstown rival Michigan on the horizon. GoSpartans.net offer some suggestions on how the Spartans can get off their losing skid and return to their winning ways of a season ago.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio has said many times that the real measure of a team is learning how to handle adversity.

Well, MSU has enough adversity to last an entire football season. They've dropped three straight football games to teams that were very beatable.

Their secondary which is stocked with some of the top talent on the team, is underachieving and seems to have lost confidence after receiving a string of pass interference calls.

The team as a whole has come out listless in two of their three losses, showing a lack of emotion and focus resulting in missed opportunities and unforced errors..... and oh yeah, Michigan is coming to town next.

GoSpartans.net has some suggestions that the Spartans could incorporate right now in an effort to right the ship and get back to their winning ways of the last two seasons:

Play with Passion and Pride Michigan State's players need to come to play with a sense of passion and pride. What happened to the chip on their shoulders that was evident went they showed up in Ann Arbor last year and outplayed and outgutted Michigan in their own backyard? Have they become satisfied after just one winning season?

Get some Real Team Leaders MSU doesn't need any more players only meetings or any other gimmicks. If their coaches and team leaders can't get the players motivated and ready to play for 11 games they play all season, then they need some new leaders.

I asked Coach Dantonio if he expected new leaders to emerge following the CMU loss, he said he felt that the leaders had already identified themselves. If that's the case, its time for them to step up an offer real leadership or get out of the way.

Sell Out To Beat Michigan If there are any gimmick plays, gadget formations, special teams trickeration in the back of any old playbooks, bring it out. The Spartans should do whatever it takes, even if it means trotting out the "wildcat" formation, some option plays, even a few old veer formation looks - do it. Go for it on fourth down, pull out the onsides kick. Beating Michigan could give the Spartans a tremendous lift and maybe lead to a little stretch run.

Apply Some Pressure One of the biggest problems for the Spartans has been their inability to apply consistent pressure on the quarterback. This has led to quarterbacks sitting back in the pocket picking apart the maligned MSU secondary. While the blitzes haven't gotten home, maybe its time for MSU to try a new look, perhaps a 3-4 look for this week. With seven quality linebackers on the roster, a new look might be just the trick to get after the passer.

There's No Crying in Football There's no feeling sorry for yourself in the Big Ten. If the Spartans want to preserve any hope of getting to a post-season bowl game for the third consecutive year, they must take corrective action now.


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