This wasn't exactly the kind of evening that Mel Tucker and the Michigan State Spartans were expecting at Husky Stadium in Seattle, as they were punched in the mouth by the Washington Huskies to the tune of a 39-28 final score.
It was former Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. leading the way for the host Huskies with a highly productive outing, finishing 24-for-40 for 397 yards with four touchdowns and helping his team improve to a perfect 3-0 record in the 2022 season. Meanwhile, the Spartans suffered their first setback and now sit at 2-1.
Afterward, Tucker could only say good things about the performance of Washington's quarterback, who was the clear difference in the victory.
“He’s one of the best players in the country, we think,” Tucker said in his postgame presser. “But we weren’t really able to do anything to get him out of rhythm and we let them off the hook with some big plays.”
Tucker then lamented the fact that his team had no answer for Washington's offensive attack, and vowed improvements were on the way.
Mel Tucker promised that improvements are coming
“There's only so much that you can do when you get in a situation where we're not playing well in any phase,” Mel Tucker continued. “We weren't able to get the rush. And then from a coverage standpoint, it wasn't just one position or one guy — it was kind of across the board. They kind of poked around and found some things.
“We're gonna look at the film, and we'll find a way to mitigate any type of issues that we have. Whether it's scheme or personnel or whatever, we'll get those things fixed, and then we'll move forward.”
Meanwhile, Spartans QB Payton Thorne finished 30-for-42 for 323 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception on the night.
The Spartans will now turn their attention to their next matchup next Saturday at Spartan Stadium against their Big Ten rival Minnesota Golden Gophers. Game time is set for 3:30 PM with television coverage on the Big Ten Network.