Last year, the Michigan State Spartans beat Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa and played in the College Football Playoff. This year, well, they’ve been pretty much awful.
The Spartans (2-4) won their first two games of the season but have lost four straight, including a 24-point home loss to Wisconsin, an overtime loss at Indiana and an embarrassing 54-40 loss at home to Northwestern this past weekend.
What has happened to Michigan State?
“It is inexplicable,” Big Ten Network analyst Dave Revsine said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “That is one I cannot tell you how stunned I am by what’s happened to Michigan State. Did I think they might take a little bit of a step down? Yeah, I thought they were the third-best team in the division when we saw them in the preseason.”
Michigan State’s offense hasn’t been overly explosive in recent years, but the defense was always top-notch. That hasn’t been the case in 2016.
“I cant explain the defense,” Revsine said. “Northwestern has been much better offensively these last two games. Let’s give them some credit. But they did score seven points against Illinois State earlier this year. So if you score seven against Illinois State and you then score 54 against Michigan State, again, it’s a dramatically better team and I give a ton of credit to Pat Fitzgerald and those guys. They really stayed the course. However, it’s the most points Michigan State has ever given up at home. Ever. So I don’t know what’s happened there. There have been some injuries at linebacker and that has certainly been part of it, but Riley Bullough was back for that game against Northwestern. The secondary, Austin Carr just absolutely carved them up.”
Carr had 11 catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns for Northwestern. Michigan State couldn’t keep up.
“Offensively, they’ve got quarterback issues,” Revsine said. “They started Brian Lewerke, who wasn’t very good, and then they brought in Tyler O’Connor, who’s had some bad games and then he was really good in the second half. So I don’t know. It just feels like one of those years where it’s a confluence of bad. Everything that could go wrong, has.”
Michigan State (2-4) plays at Maryland (4-2) this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“I’m not sure they’re going to make a bowl,” Revsine said. “I think they beat Maryland this week, but you still got Michigan and Ohio State and Penn State – and the Penn State game is in State College. You got to win four games. That would really be stunning when you consider just how consistent they’ve been under Mark Dantonio.”