First and foremst the offensive line is definitely offensive. If people believe that having Javon Ringer running behind this line would make a difference they’re wrong. It’s not who is carrying the ball that is the problem but the line and its inability to run block.
The staff has not been able to find decent replacements for Roland Martin and Jesse Miller on the right side of the line. Two games into the 2009 season and it is apparent the absence of Martin and Miller is having more of an impact than having to name a starting quarterback. The rotation experiment of Deane/McGaha at right guard, and Moss/Young at rigth tackle has not produced the desired results or even come close to the performance of Martin and Miller, who were often just adequate at best.
Depth is an issue especially when you consider MSU lost two possible linemen who would probably reshirt sophomores along with Joel Foreman and Jarred McGaha, Chase Dumphord and Arthor Ray. There is no way of knowing how these two would produce, but the fact is this would at least be their third year in the program. Instead MSU has four true freshman (Barrent, Conway, Klatt and Reynolds), and four redshirt sophomores (Deyo, Hueter, McDonald, and Ruhland) that are still a season or two away from contributing. If they were game ready they would probably have been tried, so to me this indicates that Deane. McGaha, Moss and Young are the best of the bunch. That’s not doesn’t give me a warm and cozy feeling.
Cironi is another OL that is struggling, but that is probably more due to his shoulder not being completely healed. It’s a statement to the lack of quality depth of offensive linemen when an less than 100% healthy player is a better option than one who is healthy.
The loss of Nitchman is troubling because of his leadership and understanding of blocking assignments and making the proper line calls. I am not saying that having him against CMU would have changed the outcome due to the issues with the players on the right side and Cironi, but not having makes the MSU OL that much more of a liability.
What I am about to say will definitely spark some debate and result in more than a fair share of comments questioning my mental capabilities. Cousins and Nichol in my opinion, played to impress and not to win.
I have no arguement that both are extremely talented, and are capable of leading this team, but until a starter is named, each is trying to out do the other to the detriment of the team. On Saturday both quarterbacks threw what I considered ill advised/low percentage, deep, passes. What was the reason for throwing deep to receivers when a five to seven yard completion would have resulted in a first down, other than they were trying to make that “Wow” play to impress the staff? Both Cousins and Nichol almost forgot about looking at intermediate routes being run by the TEs that would have kept drives alive. By my count only two passes were thrown to the TEs, one going for a touchdown to Gantt. The quarterbacks have to understand that one of the strengths offensively is TE.
The trial period is over. Name a starter and move on. I don’t care who it is but name the starter this week before the Notre Dame game to allow this team to come together.
This is the first time that I actually questioned Narduzzi’z defensive scheme. The first two years MSU has been undermanned or inexperienced defensively that resulted in a great many breakdowns. I tolerated those occurrences, but against CMU the defense was outplayed and on more than one occassion, confused.
I did not see any push from the interior players Wilson or Worthy, and the same goes for edge pressure from Anderson, Neely or Hoover. Was it Narduzzi’s idea to play a read and react style rather than an aggressive attacking style? It appeared that MSU was more concerned with stopping CMU’s running game than pressuring LeFevour. The CMU OL, especially the tackles were nothing special, but the MSU DL had difficulty getting around them, made it seem like this was the Penn State or OSU OL.
The secondary was also another group that appeared to be more concerned with making the “Wow” play rather than just playing fundamental football. Rucker was beat three separate times on deep throws, while Ware, and Hyde kept allowing receivers to gain extra yards because they went for the big hit instead of wrapping up.
MSU looked slow defensively and I could only attribute that to being tentative and thinking rather than reacting. In any case it was simply a poor effort all around by staff and players.