We have all witnessed the drops that Michigan State wide receivers have made over the past two games. They have been all over the field including two in the end zone by consensus number one WR Bennie Fowler. If Fowler makes that catch against Notre Dame it would have tied the game and possibly shifted the momentum towards the Spartans.
Dropped passes continued to be an issue against Eastern Michigan including six dropped passes in the first half. The drops halted the offense on several occasions and even lead to boos coming from the student section. The boos seemed to have an effect on the team and led to Mark Dantonio addressing the issue in his weekly teleconference.
The Spartans came out and played better in the second half against the Eagles. Dion Sims despite having his first drop of the season was able to haul in six catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. Sims has been the lone bright spot for the MSU passing game and has been able to catch 22 balls while stacking up 277 receiving yards with two touchdowns.
Prior to Saturday’s game against Eastern, sophomore wide receiver Keith Mumphery had looked like the one Spartan receiver that could be relied on to make a catch. Unfortunately Mumphery followed suit and dropped a few passes of his own. Keith was still able to catch three passes for 21 yards, but could have had a better showing if not for the drops.
Who is going to step up for this team and make some catches? The coaches have made it pretty clear that they have Bennie Fowler and Keith Mumphery as the top two wide receivers. The two have played the majority of the downs in the first four games, though true freshman Aaron Burbridge and Macgarret Kings Jr. seemed to be used a lot on running plays against EMU. The coaching staff has been pretty clear that they want better blocking out of their wide receivers and the freshman duo’s blocking ability may be an avenue for playing time.
Offensive coordinator Dan Roushar said that: “I didn’t feel like we made progress at all.” After watching the game I can see where he is coming from, Michigan State has a lot of progress to make before College Gameday arrives in East Lansing.
Will the problems be fixed before the Spartans take on the Buckeyes? As coach Dantonio would say: “Next Question.”
-Coach Dantonio is open to playing cornerback Johnny Adams on both sides of the ball. (Adams played some WR in the spring game.)
-Michigan State players and coaches will not be allowed to talk to the media prior to Saturday’s game. (This happened twice last year with OSU and Iowa, the Spartans won both games.)