The good news? The Michigan State Spartans defense carried them to their first victory of the season over Tulsa.
The bad news? The offense looked horrid.
The Spartans put up just 303 yards of total offense in their opener, one year after being ranked 116th in the country with 342.1 yards per game. By the second quarter, the fans who packed Spartan Stadium began showing their frustration with booing that grew louder.
And you can bet, the players definitely took notice. One member of the team even said he’d be doing the same thing had he been in the stands.
“The way that we played, I would have been booing it myself,” junior wide receiver Cody White said.
“There is no magic play,” head coach Mark Dantonio said, while declaring the Spartans are “going to be an up-tempo offense” this season. “Everybody runs the inside zone, everybody runs the outside zone, everybody runs power, everybody runs counters. It’s execution. You have to get guys to the edge of the defense at times, you’ve got to outnumber them at times and sometimes they outnumber you.”
A 15-yard pass from quarterback Brian Lewerke to Connor Hayward was MSU’s only touchdown of the game. Lewerke finished 21-for-37 passing for 192 yards and a touchdown and had seven carries for 34 yards.
“What I was disappointed in is ‘hey, we’ve got the opportunities on a short field, we’ve got to make them, we’ve got to make them,’” Dantonio continued. “We’ve got some dropped balls. I thought Lewerke was sharp, I thought he threw the ball with velocity, I thought he scrambled out of there well and made some plays. When your quarterback is playing well, great things can happen.”