How did each position group perform against the Buckeyes in a hard to take 17-16 loss? We take a hard look giving our opinion.
We are seeing improvement by Andrew Maxwell each week and this past weekend was no exception as Maxwell was under pressure during a 22-of-42, 269 yard, one touchdown performance. Mark Dantonio and Dan Roushar are both behind the first year starter and for good reason as he's shown a strong arm and the ability to take a beating.
Spartan Digest Grade B+
The strength of the Spartans offense was a non factor against the Buckeyes as Le'Veon Bell was held in check with only 45 net rushing yards and no touchdowns. Overall the Spartans only rushed the ball 22 times for a net of 34 yards. Spartan fans know if the Spartans are not running the football the results usually end up with a loss. Bell was the team's leading receiver with eight catches, but when you add in a few missed blocking assignments you see this was not a very good day for the running backs.
Spartan Digest Grade D
RECEIVERS / TIGHT ENDS
Another game and much like the ones before it the same old story as the Spartans dropped passes that should have been caught. It was good to see Paul Lang get more reps and post his first career catch and Dion Sims pulled down a couple of balls. Keith Mumphery's fun after the catch will be a highlight from the season and his five catch 79 yard performance was encouraging. However, others must step up and look for changes going forward as the Spartans cannot rest on players with potential and need players to make plays now.
Spartan Digest Grade C-
Another loss along the offensive line is a major concern going forward as Travis Jackson is out for the season with a broken leg and MCL tear. Ethan Ruhland played solid after taking over for Jackson and should be able to handle the workload going forward. Jack Allen has good plays and bad ones each game and that is understandable for a first year player early in their career. However, penalties have started to rear their head on key plays also playing a role in slowing or stopping drives. The Buckeyes posted two sacks and hurried Maxwell a total of six times. Way too many to feel good about going forward.
Spartan Digest Grade C