The Michigan State football offense is trending in the right direction at the perfect time with Michigan next on the schedule.
As halftime hit, Michigan State football was standing there on its home field with a whopping seven points against the 3-3 Wisconsin Badgers.
It felt like rock bottom.
Michigan State’s offense remained imprisoned by poor execution and even poorer play-calling (yes, I’m referring to the slew of repeated plays at the goal line).
Oh, and Wisconsin was receiving the ball to start the second half. Game over, right? Wrong.
Payton Thorne realized that whenever he got the ball to Jayden Reed, good things happened. He also realized he had tight ends with distinct athletic advantages against the linebackers covering them. And for the first time all season, Reed and Thorne looked healthy at the same time.
It obviously paid major dividends.
The Spartans moved the ball down the field with relative ease for the remainder of the game, even capping off a 97-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter to tie the game. It looked like a completely different unit than the one we saw in the previous four weeks.
Thorne looked like a completely different quarterback. He was calm, composed, and never got too high or too low. Sound familiar? That’s right, that’s the exact description that fit him during his record-breaking 2021 season. He looked like his old self again.
With Thorne looking and playing healthy, Reed fed off that confidence.
The senior wideout (did you know he’s actually childhood friends with Thorne?!) had nine catches for 117 yards, including the game-winner in overtime in which he Moss’d a Wisconsin defender in one-on-one coverage. It was like watching a replay of the 2021 season against Pitt, Michigan, or Penn State.
When those two are on the same page, this offense is a well-oiled machine.
Oh yeah, and Keon Coleman did Keon Coleman things. He finished with five catches for 79 yards and two massive touchdowns. That’s a heck of a one-two punch in the receiving corps.
Maliq Carr came to life, Elijah Collins did some good things, and even Jalen Berger had a solid touchdown run. And the offensive line protected Thorne to perfection.
Obviously the run blocking could be better, but Michigan State scored 34 points and a touchdown on each overtime possession. It was a tale of two halves and it was the perfect time to watch the offense get back on track.
Thorne looked more confident, Reed looked healthy, Coleman looked like Coleman, and the tight ends and backs made good plays.
With five huge games left, this is the perfect time to heat up.