Instant Analysis: Michigan State's D Rising
Posted Aug 31, 2013

Doan: The Michigan State defense showed against Western Michigan that things have changed.

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A lot of 2012 in 2013 Spartans Friday night

There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Michigan State coaches were posted at stadium exits asking the student body pouring out due to a lightning delay if they wanted to try their hand at quarterback when the game resumed.

One would figure there were certainties with the Spartans. One, their offense would be better than 2012. Two, their defense might not. Neither seemed to be true.

Probably the most staggering stat that wandered across the television was the one that noted that the 2012 Spartans - fourth in the nation in total defense - scored 0 defensive TDs during the calendar year, upping that by two in game one. Lotta numbers there.

But it all started with a Kurtis Drummond interception return in the first, ended with a Denicos Allen fumble return in the fourth. Western Michigan spent most of the night looking like it'd have had an easier time jamming rebar into a light socket than the football in the end zone. So give Sparty credit on that front: their salty defense looks to be back to 2012.

But so did the offense. The Spartans spent the majority of the night looking horrid in most all phases of the game. Andrew Maxwell picked up where he left off last year (not really a good thing) and had Connor Cook to spell him. Cook has more wheels, but the pair combined through the air for a miserable 17 for 37. Nothing else was really any good either. Football spent most of the night playing the role of "greased pig," and MSU receivers (counted 6 drops just switching between games on television) that of the bourbon-infused farm hand.

But wins are wins this time of year, which are assuredly better feeling than whatever is going on in Kansas State's locker room right now. Yet MSU will have to be better. It'd behoove them to pick a QB and stick with him (Cook looks more multi-faceted), and the receivers, who were purportedly improved, will need to probably prove that part of it. As good as this defense is, they're not getting touchdowns every week. Nor are they playing projected middle-of-the-pack MAC teams. Campus Insiders